En Blanc Et Noir
Introducing the Angelo Piano Duo's first CD, "En Blanc et Noir!" This CD features two piano and piano four-hand works of the Twentieth Century encompassing a variety of styles. The music of familiar names such as Claude Debussy and George Gershwin, along with exciting, young San Francisco Bay Area composers David Garner and Bruce Cameron Munson, offer the listener an appealing and exciting experience!
Selections include Percy Grainger's Fantasy on George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, Four for Shiva by David Garner, Claude Debussy's masterpiece for two pianos, En Blanc et Noir, and Bruce Cameron Munson's Sonata for Two Pianos.
I. Australian-born composer and gifted pianist PERCY GRAINGER made a generous contribution to the two-piano and four-hand literature. He became interested in the music of GEORGE GERSHWIN towards the end of 1943. Perhaps the most fruitful product of his interest was the Fantasy for Two Pianos on themes from Porgy and Bess, which was published in 1951. The Fantasy consists of the following sections: "My Man's Gone Now," "It Ain't Necessarily So," "Clara, Don't You Be Down-Hearted," "Strawberry Call," "Summer-time," "Oh, I Can't Sit Down," "Bess, You Is My Woman Now," "Oh, I Got Plenty O' Nuttin," and "Oh Lawd, I'm On My Way."
II. DAVID GARNER wrote Four for Shiva in 1988. In each of the four movements, Garner uses many of the characteristics of modern American dance music: Afro-cuban, jazz, be-bop, and rock and roll. By incorporating the use of these elements in this piece, the composer has attempted to break down musical barriers which have traditionally separated classical music from jazz and rock. If disparities in a culture can also become a unifying force of that culture, then music certainly represents a major step towards making that possible.
III. For almost a year after the outbreak of World War I, CLAUDE DEBUSSY abandoned composition. Besides the paralyzing effect which the war had on him, he was an extremely sensitive man and an intense nationalist. The first composition which Debussy completed after this period of creative impasse was En Blanc et Noir, a set of three pieces for two pianos. The title aptly describes the sharp contrasts in mood and color found between the three movements of the work, and, indeed, within the movements themselves.
IV. Sonata for Two Pianos, by BRUCE CAMERON MUNSON, consciously uses rhythms and harmonies taken from the contemporary and jazz idioms and applies them to the classical sonata form. His purpose is not only to explore the ties between modern jazz, contemporary and classical music, but to introduce the listener, both young and old, to the language of contemporary music.
This CD was recorded at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California using two Yamaha concert grand pianos. It was engineered by Stephen O'Hara and produced by Joanne Corbett-Barnes and Stephen O'Hara on CON MOLTO CLASSICS.