03 July 2017

Piano pieces

     Tonight, I took myself to the Conservatory to hear Sarah Cahill (well-known local musician and radio presenter) and others perform works by Ruth Crawford, Henry Cowell, Lou Harrison, Frederic Rzewski (new to me) George Lewis (also new to me) and Terry Riley.
      The least interesting piece was Cowell's, pleasant, conventional, forgettable. The Crawford Preludes were short and bracing. Lou Harrison's piece ('Varied Trio') was very Lou Harrison: interesting, engaging; instruments included tuned rice bowls, baking pans, and a gong!
The three remaining works were for piano solo, demanding but not overbearing, involving, tuneful even. The Riley rag 'Be Kind to One Another' was delightful, and, according to Sarah, is a favorite of Riley's grandchildren! And the exhortation is pertinent, at this bizarre moment in American political life.
      Sarah played an encore, a minimalist piece by the Canadian Ann Southam. It surprised me that Southam would be known here. (15.XI.16)

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