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The American Innovator - Alan Feinberg


Release Date: 10/31/2007 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 436925   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Leo OrnsteinJohn AdamsRuth Crawford SeegerHenry Cowell,   ... 
Performer:  Alan Feinberg
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 14 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is the latest of Alan Feinberg's American anthologies on Argo, all of which I have enjoyed. The first (2/91) was a rather odd mixture of salon pieces by Beach and Gottschalk with works by Feinberg's teacher, Robert Helps, played with refinement and well recorded. The second, called ''The American Virtuoso'' (5/93), contained more Beach and Gottschalk with some MacDowell and four of Grainger's eccentric transcriptions.

This third release is planned around American pioneers of various kinds and is a most attractive demonstration of Feinberg's versatility. Ornstein's A la chinoise is a more exploratory piece than his opulent, romantic cello sonata (10/93); Cowell's Aeolian Harp, with the piano strings strummed, contains a
Read more wrong chord at 1'08''—publishers please note!; Adams's China Gates is poetically repetitive.

The Griffes pieces are stylishly done, but there is a missing left-hand note in The white peacock at 0'10'' which should have been spotted. Feinberg gives us an infectiously rhythmic Bacchanale, Cage's first work for prepared piano; plays with electronic tape in Davidovsky's pretty Synchronism, and presumably copes with both parts in Shapey's less endearing Seven.

Thelonious Monk's Ruby my dear slightly lacks tenderness, but Ives's muscle-stretching Study No. 20 is a wow—try the blatant ragtime at 2'51'' and follow its exhilarating contortions. Feinberg makes Babbitt sound bearable, especially in tango rhythm—he has recorded the Piano Concerto—and Cowell's Vestiges looks like a first recording, although the Irish lilt of Exultation plus clusters is more fun. The whole programme is admirably calculated as a sequence of generous length which comes off, even if the piano sound is at times a bit tight and close.

-- Peter Dickinson, Gramophone [1/1994]
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Works on This Recording

1. A la Chinoise, Op. 39 by Leo Ornstein
Performer:  Alan Feinberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 1918 
2. China Gates by John Adams
Performer:  Alan Feinberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1977; USA 
3. Study in Mixed Accents by Ruth Crawford Seeger
Performer:  Alan Feinberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930; USA 
4. Aeolian Harp by Henry Cowell
Performer:  Alan Feinberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1923; USA 
5. Synchronisms no 6 for Piano and Tape by Mario Davidovsky
Performer:  Alan Feinberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1970; USA 
6. Tango, seen from ground level, for Milo by John Harbison
Performer:  Alan Feinberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1991; USA 
7. Roman Sketches (4), Op. 7: no 1, White Peacock by Charles Tomlinson Griffes
Performer:  Alan Feinberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; USA 
8. Playing for Time by Milton Babbitt
Performer:  Alan Feinberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1979; USA 
9. Exultation by Henry Cowell
Performer:  Alan Feinberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921; USA 
10. Prelude for Piano by Conlon Nancarrow
Performer:  Alan Feinberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; Boston, Massachusett 
11. It Takes Twelve to Tango by Milton Babbitt
Performer:  Alan Feinberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; USA 
12. Vestiges by Henry Cowell
Performer:  Alan Feinberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; USA 
13. Bacchanale by John Cage
Performer:  Alan Feinberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; USA 
14. Studies (23) for Piano: no 20, Slow allegro or Fast andante by Charles Ives
Performer:  Alan Feinberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1908; USA 
15. Roman Sketches (4), Op. 7: no 3, Fountain of Acqua Paola by Charles Tomlinson Griffes
Performer:  Alan Feinberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916; USA 
16. Seven by Ralph Shapey
Performer:  Alan Feinberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1963; USA 
17. Ruby, My Dear by Thelonious Monk
Performer:  Alan Feinberg (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; USA 

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