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The Fogg Project

Dangerfield / Fogg
Release Date: 09/13/2011 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 1288   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Karim Al-ZandJoseph DangerfieldTim SullivanLuke Dahn,   ... 
Performer:  Ryan Fogg
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



THE FOGG PROJECT Ryan Fogg (pn) ALBANY 1288 (69:04)


AL-ZAND Pattern Preludes, Books 2, 3. DANGERFIELD Remnants. SULLIVAN Fractured Spaces. DAHN Traces. BENNETT Schematic Nocturne


It may seem a bit Read more conceited for a pianist to name a CD after himself, but this group of consistently interesting and relatively unknown material certainly qualifies as an idiosyncratic collection. Ryan Fogg is a native Texan with dexterous fingers and an interest in contemporary music with an exotic tinge. None of the names here were known to me before hearing this recital, but I was impressed by the consistently high level of innovation and craft.


The connecting thread in this music is a concision of expression, a flair for theatrical gestures, and a showcase for high-power technique. The program is bracketed by Books 2 and 3 of preludes from Canadian-American composer Karim Al-Zand. His music is probably the most accessible here, and even includes a lullaby, but it is not simple. Like Al-Zand’s, the music of Luke Dahn heard here consists of a series of short pieces, reflections of a variety of historical inspirations presented in terse, subtle expressions. Joseph Dangerfield’s work is similarly constructed of brief nuggets a minute or two in length, but uses a brasher, more chromatic language. The effect is almost theatrical, but not as much as the music of Tim Sullivan, whose Fractured Spaces , the most substantial work on this selection, seems to mimic a kind of dialogue, with a declamative treble line answered by a grumbling bass. At times I was reminded of the way in which Mussorgsky modeled melodic lines after the vocal patterns he heard from everyday Russians. Bruce Bennett’s piece also has a dramatic sensibility about it, and is the only music here that contains overt whimsicality.


Fogg is an excellent pianist, drawing an impressive range of sounds out of his instrument. At times, it sounds as if he is striking a xylophone with mallets; elsewhere, plucking a large guitar. His unique approach to technical matters, not to mention his interesting taste in contemporary music, makes for a compelling and engrossing release.


FANFARE: Peter Burwasser
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Works on This Recording

1.
Pattern Preludes for Piano, Book 2 by Karim Al-Zand
Performer:  Ryan Fogg (Piano)
Period: 21st Century 
Written: USA 
2.
Remnants by Joseph Dangerfield
Performer:  Ryan Fogg (Piano)
Period: 21st Century 
Written: USA 
3.
Fractured Spaces by Tim Sullivan
Performer:  Ryan Fogg (Piano)
Period: 21st Century 
Written: USA 
4.
Traces by Luke Dahn
Performer:  Ryan Fogg (Piano)
Period: 21st Century 
Written: USA 
5.
Downward Courses by Luke Dahn
Performer:  Ryan Fogg (Piano)
Period: 21st Century 
Written: 2006; Iowa, USA 
6.
Schematic Nocturne by Bruce Bennett
Performer:  Ryan Fogg (Piano)
Period: 21st Century 
Written: USA 
7.
Pattern Preludes for Piano, Book 3 by Karim Al-Zand
Performer:  Ryan Fogg (Piano)
Period: 21st Century 
Written: USA 

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