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John Corigliano
Winging It;
Chiaroscuro (for two pianos tuned a quarter-tone apart)*;
Fantasia on an Ostinato;
Etude Fantasy

Ursula Oppens, Jerome Lowenthal (pianos)

Cedille 90000 123

Popular and oft recorded in USA, this music was new to me. Winging It (2007-08) in three movements was an experiment in notating improvisations, a difficult task, one that jazz muscians have done repeately for their idols. Chiaroscuro for Two Pianos Tuned a Quarter Tone Apart (1997) explores intriguingly "the expressive power between two notes, as a blues singer does."

Fantasia on an Ostinato (1985), a competition set piece based upon a famous repetitive figure in Beethoven 7 slow movement, has a complexity you wouldn't guess without sight of the score (kindly supplied by Schirmer - and far from easy to follow through). Corigliano develops that recurring melodic fragment; he is highly prescriptive and his instructions are detailed and meant to be followed.

Etude Fantasy (1976) is five substantial piano studies, the first an amazing piece for left hand only. The score makes one easy to see it in execution - one for YouTube surely ?

Oppens can be seen playing Carter at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nryKMIvS7SU; q.v. also our review of her Elliot Carter disc.

Peter Grahame Woolf