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Muczynski: Complete Piano Sonatas / Lopes

Release Date: 05/14/2019 
Label:  Albany Records   Catalog #: 1771  
Composer:  Robert Muczynski
Performer:  Zachary Lopes
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Composer Robert Muczynski (1929-2010) garnered national and international recognition for his compositions, which have been heard throughout the world. Muczynski studied composition at DePaul University with Alexander Tcherepnin, crediting Tcherepnin for inspiring his career. He performed his first Piano Concerto with the Chicago Symphony in 1958 and was a noted film composer. He became composer-in-residence at the University of Arizona in 1965, where he spent the remainder of his professional career. Some may call Muczynski's music traditionalist or conventional, but there is no arguing his music is truly authentic, expressive, invigorating, and meticulously crafted. Pianist Zachary Lopes offers the first recording of his piano sonatas Read more since the composer's own recording done in 2000. Lopes is an active soloist and collaborative artist and has given performance and master-classes across the U.S., South America, and Europe. He has held teaching positions at Wittenberg University and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and serves as President of the Kentucky Music Teachers Association. He studied at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is on the faculty at Western Kentucky University. Read less

Works on This Recording

Sonata for Piano no 1, Op. 9 by Robert Muczynski
Performer:  Zachary Lopes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: United States 
Sonata for Piano no 2, Op. 22 by Robert Muczynski
Performer:  Zachary Lopes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1965-1966; United States 
Sonata for Piano no 3, Op. 35 by Robert Muczynski
Performer:  Zachary Lopes (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: United States 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Muczynski Magic November 23, 2019 By Guy Rickards (Northwood, Middlesex) See All My Reviews "Robert Muczynski's three piano sonatas make a very engaging set. The First (1955-7) is cast, unusually, as a diptych, a broad-paced but volatile Moderato succeeded by a vibrant, highly rhythmic Allegro. For once, the two-movement form is entirely satisfying and in perfect balance, largely I suspect because of the diverse nature of the two movements—and the fact that the lively scherzo-finale has such appeal. The Second Sonata followed a decade later and is the largest and most impressive—though its four compact movements are contained, in this splendid performance, in under eighteen minutes. Where the First Sonata was written in very free forms, the Second is outwardly more convention, with a dramatic sonata Allegro followed by a lyrical Molto andante and a toccata-like final Allegro molto. The Third (1973-4), by contrast, is entirely different again, its textures leaner and lighter in tone, with a more graceful opening Allegro moderato, a vivid central scherzo and a compound-form finale, merging a lyrical interlude and toccata-finale. Zachary Lopes has a most impressive CV and his impressive technique is certainly put to the test in Muczynski’s coruscating inventions. The composer himself set these works down in the 1970s, recordings long out of print and not even available on YouTube. Albany’s sound is bright and clear, if a touch clinical. What a shame they did not add more of Muczynski’s piano music to flesh out the ungenerous, 43-minute playing time, its only drawback." Report Abuse
 Intelligent. Articulate. Compulsively listenable! August 24, 2019 By neil T. (Minneapolis, MN) See All My Reviews "This is a true marvel. Here you will find a superb find-offered up to those interested in the 20th century piano sonata, and melodious, tangily dissonant music in general. Lopes plays these 3 major works as they deserve to be played. He is fiery and propulsive when the music calls for it, yet, conversely, delicately restrained when appropriate. None of these works, sadly, is often recorded. This is a travesty of musical justice. The highly able Lopes does his utmost to begin addressing this problem; he succeeds fully. Perversely, Muczynski is only recently being given his proper due as a serious composer. At his best, he is on par with Copland and Barber. Now, together with Clara Yang interpreting his sublime, majesty-in-miniature __Maverick Pieces__, we are finally getting us some wonderful Muczynskian pianistic ACTION. Thank you, Clara Yang and Zachary Lopes, for sidestepping the tired modern warhorses and delving into under-explored and cunningly compelling contemporary keyboard music. A must procure!" Report Abuse
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