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Bolcom: Piano Rags / Myer


Release Date: 01/20/2017 
Label:  Steinway & Sons   Catalog #: 30041  
Composer:  William Bolcom
Performer:  Spencer Myer
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This fantastic new release is pianist Spencer Myer’s debut album on the Steinway label. For this project, he has chosen a terrific collection of Rags by the eminent American composer William Bolcom. Featuring some of the newest Rags as well as classics, this album displays Bolcom’s ingenious approach to a favorite keyboard medium. This carefully selected collection of Rags includes three of Bolcom’s latest compositions: Estela: Rag Latino, Knockout: A Rag, and The Brooklyn Dodge. The Boston Globe lauded Spencer Meyer for “superb playing” and “poised, alert musicianship.” His orchestral, recital, and chamber music performances have been heard across the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, and Asia. This fantastic new release is pianist Spencer Myer’s debut album on the Steinway label. For this project, he has chosen a terrific collection of Rags by the eminent American composer William Bolcom. Featuring some of the newest Rags as well as classics, this album displays Bolcom’s ingenious approach to a favorite keyboard medium. This carefully selected collection of Rags includes three of Bolcom’s latest compositions: Estela: Rag Latino, Knockout: A Rag, and The Brooklyn Dodge. The Boston Globe lauded Spencer Meyer for “superb playing” and “poised, alert musicianship.” His orchestral, recital, and chamber music performances have been heard across the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Ghost Rags (3) by William Bolcom
Performer:  Spencer Myer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1970; USA 
2.
Classic Rags (3) by William Bolcom
Performer:  Spencer Myer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1967; USA 
3.
Raggin' Rudi by William Bolcom
Performer:  Spencer Myer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1974; USA 
4.
Fields of Flowers by William Bolcom
Performer:  Spencer Myer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1977; USA 
5.
Epithalamium by William Bolcom
Performer:  Spencer Myer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1993; USA 
6.
The Garden of Eden by William Bolcom
Performer:  Spencer Myer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1969; USA 
7.
Knockout by William Bolcom
Performer:  Spencer Myer (Piano)
8.
Estela "Rag Latino" by William Bolcom
Performer:  Spencer Myer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
9.
The Brooklyn Dodge (A James P. Johnson Stride) by William Bolcom
Performer:  Spencer Myer (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  4 Customer Reviews )
 Fine Performances of American Piano Music October 24, 2017 By T. Drake (South Euclid, OH) See All My Reviews "Full disclosure: I’ve known Spencer Myer since he was a student at Oberlin and have heard him play numerous times. But that’s not the reason I gave this CD five stars. I did so because the repertoire is interesting, the performances superb, and the sound is faithful. William Bolcom may well be the most important composer of rags since Scott Joplin, who brought the form to the world’s attention over a century ago. I consider the rags of Joplin and Bolcom, along with Barber’s Piano Sonata and Rzewski’s Variations on The People United Will Never Be Defeated, exemplars of American piano music. Bolcom’s rags are firmly tonal and thoroughly American. They also contain a number of unusual touches, from the tone clusters of Poltergeist rag to knocking on the piano frame in Knockout. Myer avoids the pitfall encountered in too many rag recordings and performances: playing the works too fast and straight. It’s clear from Joplin’s frequent comments about tempo that rags are not meant to be either rushed or metronomic. Myer’s chosen tempo suits each individual piece, from the relaxed meandering of the Graceful Ghost, to the mischievous scampering of Poltergeist, to the varied tempos of The Serpent’s Kiss. The Brooklyn Dodge, in particular, has an infectious swing. The sound is excellent, with a nice balance of intimacy and sense of space around the piano. Two of the tracks were recorded using a Hamburg Steinway, but I prefer the New York Steinway used in the other 14 tracks, as it has a somewhat more vibrant sound. Jed Distler’s excellent liner notes give a brief history of rag music (it stemmed from jigs, marches, and cakewalks performed by African-American bands) as well as William Bolcom’s development as a composer." Report Abuse
 Charming, Luscious Modern Rags September 29, 2017 By Jeffrey J. (San Jose, CA) See All My Reviews "This is a gorgeous album of splendidly played modern ragtime piano pieces. The Graceful Ghost Rag stands out for its "haunting" forlorn melody and harmonies. Just lovely." Report Abuse
 Delightful Program Superbly Played September 4, 2017 By K. Thompson (Lincoln, NE) See All My Reviews "A few of these piano rags were familiar, but most were new to me. Of the former, 'Graceful Ghost' is beautifully played, but more seductive than insouciant. Of the ones new to me, 'The Serpent's Kiss' is more fun than a person should have sitting down." Report Abuse
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