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Thread: Piano

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    Member hippypants's Avatar
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    Piano

    Who do you like piano-wise, more avant-garde pianist would be appreciated. I do like Bill Evans, Harold Budd, Keith Jarrett and musicians like that too.


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    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    If "avant garde" is what you're looking for, than I suggest:

    Karlheinz Stockhausen: Mantra (two pianos, percussion, and ring modulators)

    Henry Cowell: there's a great CD, released by the Smithsonian Institute, I believe, of the composer performing many of his classic piano pieces, ending with his own spoken commentary about the pieces. Of note to "prog" fans might be the Aeolian Harp, which answers the question, "Where did EMerson get the idea to strum the piano strings on Take A Pebble".

    Gyorgy Ligeti: piano etudes (books one and two are compiled on one of Sony Classicals "Ligeti Edition" releases from the 90's, I think volume 3, which was nominated for a Grammy that year). Ligeti also had some pieces for piano four hands (i.e. two pianists, one piano), which can be heard on the Keyboard Music disc from the same series of releases.

    Gordon Mumma: Mid-Size Mograph, a short piece, again for piano four hands, this time processed electronically. Can be found on the Electronic Music CD on the Tzadik label.

    Stephen Scott: American composer, who specializes in composing music for piano, which is played just about every way imaginable, except from the conventional keyboard. I first heard about him back in the 80's, he was featured on an episode of Ripley's Believe Or Not, where they showed an ensemble playing one of his pieces, that involved bowing the strings with long nylon threads (for sustained notes) and popsicle sticks with hair on them (for short staccato notes). There's videos on Youtube showing other pieces that involve placing blocks of wood on the strings and striking the wood with a mallet (for percussion sounds).

    John Cage: The only one I'd really recommend is Sonatas And Interludes For Prepared Piano. There's a recording on Mode Records that bills itself as the first to be performed on a Steinway Style O piano, which is apparently the same model he composed the piece on. This is relevant because larger pianos more traditionally used for concertizing and recording produce different sounds due to the strings being longer, so the recording with the Style O is the first (or perhaps only?) one that actually sounds the way Cage meant for it to sound.

    There's other Cage pieces, such as the concerto for Prepared Piano and Orchestra, which is not bad, but not as good as the Sonatas and Interludes, in my opinion. There's the Concert For Piano and Chamber Orchestra, which, at least on the recording I have, just sounds like a bunch of musicians futzing around (the piece apparently involves the musicians being given a set of sounds, and each musician decides what order to put the sounds in, and any combination of musicians, including even say, a solo flute or clarinet or whatever, are allowable). I know he has other piano pieces, including some for toy pianos, but I've not really checked into those.

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    Member hippypants's Avatar
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    All good suggestions. I'd forgotten about Lande on ECM. Some of these I'd not heard of so thank you for the recommendations, I'll look into them.


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    Boo! walt's Avatar
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    Muhal Richard Abrams-Young At Heart.Solo piano.From his Young At Heart/Wise In Time album.Wise In Time is a group composition.



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    Last edited by walt; 04-22-2018 at 08:02 AM.
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    Michael: "Harold, don't you have any other music, you know, from [last] century?"
    Harold: "There is no other music....."

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    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Bela Bartok’s works for solo piano are some of my very favorite and most listened to music for 45 years!.....
    Steve F.

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    Utsav Lal plays Raga Bageshri on The Fluid Piano.This instrument, newly designed/invented,allows microtonal tuning of every note,and permits the altering of tuning of notes either before or during performance.These features make The Fluid Piano particularly useful(unlike standard pianos) for playing Indian music or other non Western musics.Utsav Lal released a cd of solo piano playing North Indian raga on The Fluid Piano last year and i highly recommend it.

    *

    *I assume the tanpura drone sound is produced electronically.
    Last edited by walt; 04-22-2018 at 09:40 AM.
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    Member StarThrower's Avatar
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    Paul Bley/Gary Peacock/Paul Motian-Not Two, Not One is the latest album I picked up. I like it a lot.

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    I found this at the library a few months ago. Very interesting!
    Features his piece Makrokosmos for amplified piano, and two other works.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by StarThrower View Post


    I found this at the library a few months ago. Very interesting!
    Features his piece Makrokosmos for amplified piano, and two other works.
    A classic! The piano player of my then-current band gave me this for my birthday back in '94, and I remember listening intensely to it. Quite extraordinary.

    Some other contemporary nuggets from ladies:


    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    A classic! The piano player of my then-current band gave me this for my birthday back in '94, and I remember listening intensely to it. Quite extraordinary.
    Yeah, if you have a decent audio system the Crumb is a great record to put on and listen closely to every nuance.
    Great for listeners that like dark and slow with lots of reverberating overtones.

  20. #20
    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    Gegenwart - Friedrich Gulda
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  21. #21
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    Seth Horvitz-Study No.2 For Automatic Piano(Yamaha Disklavier)

    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

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    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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  23. #23
    I forgot about Conlon Nancarrow. There's a couple different sets of his player piano pieces. There's a four LP set, of recordings made in the 70's, which has been reissued on Other Minds. This is apparently the only recordings made with Nancarrow's modified 1927 Ampico pianos. Hence, these are the only recordings that more or less sound like the way Nancarrow intended them to sound.

    There's a more recent set on Wergo Records, which apparently has ALL of the studies, but as per the above, these recordings weren't made on Nancarrow's own instruments, so they don't quite sound the same as they would have in his studio.

    And if we're gonna talk player piano, Gyorgy Ligeti also arranged some of his pieces for player piano, as can be heard in the Mechanical Music installment of the Sony Classical Ligeti Edition.
    Last edited by GuitarGeek; 04-23-2018 at 12:25 AM.

  24. #24
    I think Music for a Summer Evening is George Crumb's masterpiece, quite overwhelming and atavistic.

    https://youtu.be/hA56tYuQQYs?t=733
    Last edited by arcticranger; 04-22-2018 at 04:19 PM. Reason: typo

  25. #25
    Roberto Gallo, young composer from Chile. I told him this piece reminded me of Les Noces and he said he'd done his thesis on Les Noces. I have good ears!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hr8i_Nl_SbI

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