John Knowles Paine was the first American-born composer to earn widespread recognition for his large scale symphonic works. But his smaller-scale compositions- in particular his beautifully crafted piano pieces- have been largely forgotten. With this album’s lovely and wondrously performed music, the acclaimed pianist Christopher Atzinger seeks to redress such unjustified neglect. Being the eldest of the fabled “Boston Six” band of composers, Paine was also the first to receive advanced training in Europe. Some have called him the finest American composer of his time. And, as the nation’s first American-born music professor, the curriculum he developed at Harvard was adopted by academic music departments across the country and hasRead more profoundly influenced advanced American musical training ever since.
This is by and large music written heart-on-sleeve, of a time where cares were about the honestly essential, music in which there is no agenda, no manifesto, no extra-musical baggage.
In this delightful collection pianist Christopher Atzinger plays with utmost elegance, brio when needed, gravitas when appropriate, and without a shred of condescension, there are romances, sketches, preludes, joyful ditties, even a fugue, and sad pièces d’occasion. Atzinger takes them on with bravura at his fingertips through all 65 minutes of this neatly engineered and packaged CD providing sheer listening joy.
neglected giant of musicAugust 17, 2019By Stephen J. (Monte Sereno, CA)See All My Reviews"John Knowles Paine was a giant in American music, a brillilant trailblazer for American composers, and first and long-standing professor of music at Harvard. Indeed, Harvard's music department's building bears his name. Yet he seemingly has been neglected when it comes to performing, recording and otherwise illuminating his talents as a composer. This collection of his piano compositions, superbly performed by Christopher Atzinger, is charmingly delightful. Discover this sampling of perhaps the most neglected luminary of early American composition."Report Abuse