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The Piano Music of Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 140 min
Event Type: Documentary Program Origin: WNCN

Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji was a British born composer, pianist, and author who wrote some of the longest and most difficult to perform works for the piano ever composed. Although a 20th century composer, his works have more in common with the elaborate counterpoint of Bach than with the modern compositions of his contemporaries, such as Cage, Antheil, or Schoenberg. His compositions were so difficult to play that he actually forbid public performance of them for decades, so as to avoid them from being performed by pianists who were not up to the task. As a result very few people had an opportunity to hear his compositions, and he never attained the renown that he otherwise deserved. Not that this seemed to bother him too much, nor did it stop him from continuing to produce such masterworks. He is considered by many to be one of the 20th century’s legendary composers and this program’s presentation of his piano music, performed by himself, provides a rare opportunity for listeners to become familiar with it. This program, which includes a lengthy lecture by Sorabji scholar Erik Chisholm as read by Sorabji’s friend Frank Holliday, was produced by Donald Garvelmann for WNCN in New York City. (from KPFA Folio)

Part 1 of 2:  
Musical Selections:  Djāmī [excerpt] (1928) (0:35) -- Le Jardin Parfumé [excerpt] (1923) (4:00) -- Piano Symphony No. 4 [end of chorale prelude] (1962-64) (5:40) -- Piano Symphony No. 2 [opening of 1st movement] (1954) (4:15) -- Passeggiata Veneziana [excerpt] (1955"56) (4:50)
Performers:  Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, piano
Genre:  20th Century Classical
Subject:  Sorabji, Kaikhosru Shapurji, 1892-1988; 20th century classical; Piano music; Symphonies (Piano)
People:  Garvelmann, Donald; Sorabji, Kaikhosru Shapurji, 1892-1988; Chisholm, Erik, 1904-1965; Holliday, Frank
First Broadcast Date:  11/8/1973
 
Part 2 of 2:  
Musical Selections:  Gulistān (”The Rose Garden”) (1940) (22:00) -- An Assessment of The Sicilian Temperament [excerpt from the book “Sicily: The Garden of the Mediterranean” by Francis M. Guercio and read by K. S. Sorabji] (1:54) -- Concerto per Suonare da Me Solo (1946) (46:00)
Performers:  Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, piano
Genre:  20th Century Classical
Subject:  Sorabji, Kaikhosru Shapurji, 1892-1988; 20th century classical; Piano music
People:  Garvelmann, Donald; Sorabji, Kaikhosru Shapurji, 1892-1988; Guercio, Francis M. (Francis Michael)
First Broadcast Date:  11/8/1973
 
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