Arkiv Music Holiday Shop
WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Ramey: Piano Music Vol 2 / Conti


Release Date: 06/10/2008 
Label:  Toccata Classics   Catalog #: 77   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Phillip Ramey
Performer:  Mirian Conti
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

American dissonance tracing lineage to Prokofiev and Bartók.

Ramey was born in Illinois and studied with Alexander Tcherepnin between 1959 and 1962. Later in the 1960s he worked with Copland while he was at the apex of his embrace with dissonance.

His piano music has been dealt a lucky and expert hand by Toccata; in fact two hands of which this is the second! The same company has already issued a CD of three of his sonatas and other pieces played by Stephen Gosling, TOCC 0029. This was released in 1996.

Turning now to the present disc. The Diversions are a cavalcade of angular grotesqueries. Angular they may be but they display a romantic sensibility coloured by the piano music of
Read more Bartók and Prokofiev. Indeed the final Diversion of the eight is a Homage to Prokofiev. Often sepulchral, sometimes grim, occasionally obsessive, this sequence recalls for me Mussorgsky's Pictures from an Exhibition and I wonder if that work was this work’s unstated model. The Night movement is shiningly done in a shimmer of moonlight. From a year later comes the Book 1 set of Epigrams. With its titles Calm, Sarcastic, Flowing, Declamatory this made me think of Foulds' Essays in the Modes. In fact this is music of character in which the mood is sharply chiselled with a much more wholehearted indulgence in dissonance than is found in the Diversions. The gawky Vigorous is a classic example of all-elbows fantasy. This sequence struck me as the aural equivalent of cubism. Back to a sort of cross between Kapustin, Joplin and 1960s Copland for the Leningrad Rag written for Horowitz of all people. Winter Nocturne and Ode for FDR have such a still and syrupy pulse that forward energy seems sapped and weakened. The helter-skelter shrapnel of Prokofiev returns for Toccatas Nos. 1 and 2. The Piano Sonata No. 4 is in two movements - a Monologue with Arabesques and a 14 minute Fantasy Ballade. The music is dark, clearly laid out, reflective, grand guignol and often tense-obsessive. The Primitivo is in much the same downright take-it-or-leave-it manner.

American dissonance tracing its lineage to Prokofiev and Bartók. The notes by Conti and Benjamin Folkman in fact point out that the composer can speak in long-lined lyricism as well as tangy dissonance. It makes you also want to hear his Horn Concerto (1987) and his JFK – Oration for speaker and orchestra (2007). Back to those notes again. They are lucid, full, include the details you want and, a mark of Toccata’s values, include music examples.

-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Toccata for Piano no 1 by Phillip Ramey
Performer:  Mirian Conti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1986; USA 
Length: 2 Minutes 29 Secs. 
2.
Toccata for Piano no 2 by Phillip Ramey
Performer:  Mirian Conti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1990 
Length: 4 Minutes 21 Secs. 
3.
Epigrams, Book One by Phillip Ramey
Performer:  Mirian Conti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1967 
4.
Winter Nocturne by Phillip Ramey
Performer:  Mirian Conti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2003; USA 
Length: 4 Minutes 11 Secs. 
5.
Ode for F.D.R. by Phillip Ramey
Performer:  Mirian Conti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1990; USA 
Length: 5 Minutes 27 Secs. 
6.
Piano Sonata no 4 by Phillip Ramey
Performer:  Mirian Conti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1987-88 
Length: 20 Minutes 35 Secs. 
7.
Primitivo by Phillip Ramey
Performer:  Mirian Conti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2007; USA 
Length: 1 Minutes 33 Secs. 
8.
Diversions (8) for Piano by Phillip Ramey
Performer:  Mirian Conti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1966; USA 
Length: 8 Minutes 11 Secs. 
9.
Leningrad Rag "Mutations on Scott Joplin" by Phillip Ramey
Performer:  Mirian Conti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1970; Russia 
Length: 2 Minutes 39 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title