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Other Minds Festival:
OM 11, Blitzstein Centenary Celebration Program, part 1 “Piano Percussion Music"

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 13 min
Event Type: Music Program Origin: Other Minds

“Piano Percussion Music” is a grandly scaled work that is a neglected and unpublished masterpiece of the late 1920s. Written for a League of Composers concert in New York, it is in three movements: Toccata, Air, and Rondino. The first movement, a Presto marked martellato (hammered) includes a subito pianissimo ending that Eric Gordon remarks is suggestive of "the sound of a marimba. The second movement, Air, differs greatly, a noble, Purcellian confection with trills and sixteenth-note ornamentation, its meter switching between 4/4 and 5/4." In the final movement the pianist is called on to slam the keyboard cover four times. The idea was suggested by a work of Stefan Wolpe's that Blitzstein heard in Berlin with, as he wrote, the "very last note being the closing of the piano, as though putting the final stamp on all piano music to come.”

Musical Selections:  Piano Percussion Music (1929) (12:13) / Marc Blitzstein
Performers:  Sarah Cahill, piano
Genre:  20th Century Classical
Subject:  20th century classical; Piano music
People:  Blitzstein, Marc; Cahill, Sarah
Recording Date:  2/26/2005
 
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