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Roger Reynolds Piano Music

imAge/piano: Fantasy: Epigram and Evolution: Variation: imagE/piano:

Traces, for piano, flute, cello, live electronics & tape: Less than Two, for 2 pianos, 2 percussions & tape: The Angel of Death, for piano, chamber orchestra & 6-channel computer processed sound

Yuji Takahashi, Eric Huebner, Marilyn Nonken, Delores Stevens etc (Piano) (Piano)
Daniel Dunbar (Percussion) Daryl Pratt (Percussion) Karen Reynolds (Flute) Karen Reynolds Allan Johnson (Electronics) Delores Stevens Eric Huebner (Piano) Lin Barron (Cello) Jean-Charles Fran├žois Jean-Charles Fran├žois (Piano) Conductor Magnus Martensson Ensemble Slee Sinfonietta

mode records 212/213

Roger Reynolds (1934 - ) is an American born composer of complex avant-garde music, the sort of thing that generates incomprehensible liner notes (those here by transcendental pianist Yuji Takahashi, who inspired some of Xenakis' extreme creations).

It is often hyper-energetic stuff, but definitely "listenable" and a lot of it "beautiful" to open ears. This double disc covers his complete piano works (1960-2007) recorded by several specialist pianists, the first disc solo, the other with ensembles and electronics.

As I type, I am enjoying greatly listening to Variation, a "complex fabric of predictive and retrospective - a memory maze", says Takahashi; - "Reynolds' architectural complexity clulminates here" (see illustration R of Textual plan for the Chordal theme). I guess it isn't about right and wrong notes...

Most substantial is the 35-mins Angel of Death (1998-2001) for piano, chamber orchestra (Slee Sinfonietta) and multi-channel computer music.

If you've enjoyed Stockhausen's piano works I think you will warm to these, beautifully recorded.

Peter Grahame Woolf