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Conlon Nancarrow: As Fast As Possible

Nancarrow / Wdr Sinfonieorchester Koln / Asbury
Release Date: 09/13/2011 
Label:  Wergo   Catalog #: 6733   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Conlon NancarrowPaul Usher
Performer:  Helena BugalloAmy WilliamsIngrid KarlenAmy Briggs,   ... 
Conductor:  Stefan AsburyKasper De Roo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony OrchestraEnsemble Modern
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The composer Conlon Nancarrow, who died in 1997 at the age of 84, is regarded as an exceptional figure in the field of contemporary music. It is especially his compositions for player piano that made Nancarrow go down in history.

Apart from his central work Studies for Player Piano, Nancarrow's œuvre can be classified in three groups of live instrumental compositions: the early works (ca. 1930-1947) – this period covers compositions such as Septet (1939) which was rediscovered only in 1990 and is now presented on this CD, or the cycle Suite for Orchestra composed in 1940 which is contained on the present CD as well.

Other instrumental works, written in parallel with further pieces for player piano, can be
Read more ascribed to the creative period from 1984 to ca. 1993, among them being, for example, Three Movements for Chamber Orchestra (1993). A handwritten note in the scores indicates that some of them are transcriptions which were created with the collaboration of Nancarrow's assistant. This practice signifies the transition to the composer's late creative period which is characterized by transcriptions of both his own works and works by other composers, compositions which were written primarily for the purpose of concert performances.

How far transcriptions can deviate from the original source is shown by the piece Nancarrow Concerto by Paul Usher who was guided by the 'spirit' of Nancarrow. It appears at the end of the CD programme as a shining example of the further creative development of Nancarrow's music.
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Works on This Recording

1.
Suite for Orchestra by Conlon Nancarrow
Conductor:  Stefan Asbury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
2.
Study for Player Piano no 44 by Conlon Nancarrow
Performer:  Helena Bugallo (Piano), Amy Williams (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Mexico 
3.
Study for Player Piano no 32 by Conlon Nancarrow
Performer:  Helena Bugallo (Piano), Amy Williams (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1969; Mexico 
4.
Study for Player Piano no 26 by Conlon Nancarrow
Performer:  Ingrid Karlen (Piano), Helena Bugallo (Piano), Amy Williams (Piano),
Amy Briggs (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1960; Mexico 
5.
Study for Player Piano no 20 by Conlon Nancarrow
Performer:  Helena Bugallo (Piano), Amy Williams (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1960; Mexico 
6.
Study for Player Piano no 16 by Conlon Nancarrow
Performer:  Ingrid Karlen (Piano), Helena Bugallo (Piano), Amy Williams (Piano),
Amy Briggs (Piano)
7.
Movements (3) for Chamber Orchestra by Conlon Nancarrow
Conductor:  Kasper De Roo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Modern
8.
Septet. Fragment by Conlon Nancarrow
Conductor:  Kasper De Roo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Modern
9.
Nancarrow Concerto for Pianola and Chamber Orchestra by Paul Usher
Performer:  Rex Lawson (Pianola)
Conductor:  Kasper De Roo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Modern

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