The piano music of the American composer Phillip Ramey (b. 1939) is rooted in the motoric athleticism of Prokofiev and Bartók, to which influences he has blended sober lyricism, spicy modernist dissonance and a fresh approach to the grand Romantic gesture. This second Toccata Classics album of his piano music presents the first recordings of the early Slavic-inflected Diversions and the dark, dramatic Piano Sonata No. 4. The other works include the loosely dodecaphonic Epigrams and the Leningrad Rag, a satiric take-off on Scott Joplin written for the legendary Vladimir Horowitz. This varied recital concludes with the recent, rip-roaring Primitivo, a succinct study in sophisticated barbarism.
Mirian Conti, piano
Epigrams, Book One (1967)
Piano Sonata No. 4 (1987–88)
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Catalogue No: TOCC0077EAN/UPC: 5060113440778Release Date: 05.05.2008Composer: Phillip Ramey Artists: Mirian Conti
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Rob Barnett :
“The Diversions are a cavalcade of angular grotesqueries [… with] a romantic sensibility coloured by the piano music of Bartók and Prokofiev’, and the Leningrad Rag ‘a sort of cross between Kapustin, Joplin and 1960s Copland … written for Horowitz of all people.” —Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International
Stephen Pritchard :
“These compositions make huge demands on the performer (Copland thought of him [Ramey] as a modern-day Liszt) but their rewards for the listener are legion. The dazzling Mirian Conti guides us on a journey from serialism and atonality through to colour effects and tone clusters in a collection which includes the glorious "Leningrad Rag", a brilliant subversion of Scott Joplin.” —Stephen Pritchard, The Observer
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