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Timothy Andres: Shy And Mighty

Release Date: 05/18/2010 
Label:  Nonesuch   Catalog #: 522413   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Timothy Andres
Performer:  Timothy AndresDavid Kaplan
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 0 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

ANDRES Shy and Mighty Timothy Andres, David Kaplan (pn) NONESUCH 522413 (60:00)

Young American composer Timothy Andres (b. 1985) has received a good deal of positive buzz in the last few years, and his works have been championed by various significant individuals, including New Yorker critic Alex Ross and composer-conductor John Adams. This CD contains a 10-movement work for two pianos composed in 2005–07, as Andres’ senior thesis for Yale University. My Read more first exposure to Andres’ music was a live premiere in 2006 of a rather dull concert band piece. However, hearing other works of his in the years that followed quickly showed me that Andres was a composer of great imagination and character. (That band piece had clearly been a misguided “one-off.” It is a good lesson to be reminded of in general, not to necessarily draw too many conclusions from the very first piece one might encounter.) I was thus very pleased when our editor sent me this release, which is Andres’ CD debut.

In the extensive booklet interview, Andres shares his influences, which, like many composers of his generation, are a mix of the traditional European classical canon (Shostakovich, Mahler, Prokofiev), American majors (Ives, Copland, Bernstein, Adams, Reich, Glass), and pop music (ranging from Radiohead to LCD Soundsystem). Certainly the very notion of specifically conceiving and writing an “album for two pianos” (as the composer calls it) shows Andres as a product of a generation that experienced music largely on CD recordings.

The 10 movements on the album all have evocative titles, such as “Out of Shape,” “Flirtation Ave.,” and “How Can I Live in Your World of Ideas?” The set even ends with “Pavane (pour un compositeur défunt) .” Throughout the exactly 60 minutes of music, Andres conjures up a wonderful “world of ideas” indeed. The music is consistently imaginative, clever, and expressive. Certainly one hears echoes of his influences, and the textural ideas of the two pianos together aurally calls to mind both Reich and Adams (particularly the latter’s Hallelujah Junction ). Other influences that come in and out of focus are late Ligeti (e.g., the piano études) and Nancarrow’s player piano studies. In terms of well-known composers of his own generation, Andres’ style bears some occasional kinship to the work of the ubiquitous Nico Muhly, although the influence of minimalism is far less pronounced in Andres’ work. Probably the single best thing I can say about this album is that, after it was over, I immediately wanted to (and did) go back to the beginning to hear it again.

Andres is an excellent pianist and has frequently performed both his own music and the works of others. Joined by David Kaplan, he delivers a beautifully nuanced performance, which is captured in excellent sound. Strongly recommended. I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying this fine music, and certainly a great deal more will be heard from Andres in the years to come.

FANFARE: Carson Cooman
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Works on This Recording

Shy and Mighty, for 2 pianos by Timothy Andres
Performer:  Timothy Andres (), David Kaplan (Piano), Timothy Andres (Piano)
Period: Contemporary 
Length: 58 Minutes 0 Secs. 

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