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Harrison: Piano Concerto, Etc / Keith Jarrett

Release Date: 06/18/1996 
Label:  New World Records   Catalog #: 80366   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Lou Harrison
Performer:  Keith JarrettLucy Chapman Stoltzman
Conductor:  Naoto OtomoRobert Hughes
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

These two works gaze at each other across a void of more than thirty years.
The Piano Concerto has a surging life typical of Finzi’s orchestra in the Clarinet Concerto and the Grand Fantasia and Fugue and of Tippett in the Concerto for Double String Orchestra. The grandeur of the mellifluous piano writing blends Beethoven, Nyman and Bach. This is not the faceless academicism of so much of the university production of the 1970s and 1980s. As if to drive the point home we have a Stampede second movement which has Gershwin and gamelan in uproarious pounding collision. The Largo provides needful repose after the volleying salvoes of the Stampede. The music moves in a
Read more quietly-ringing, restful slow-motion arc into murmuring welcoming depths. The very short and very active Allegro Moderato is gamelan-influenced and alive with patterning in motion.
The succinct six movement Suite has jazzily insistent and ringing third and fifth movements - each titled ‘gamelan’. The music looks in various directions. These include towards Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro. Then there’s the Orient, so valued by his teacher Henry Cowell and other contemporaries including Hovhaness, Britten (Prince of the Pagodas), Mcphee, Eichheim and Grainger. There is a cool Elegy, a statuesque Second Gamelan and a peaceful benediction in the shape of an intimate final Chorale.
The notes, rewarding in context and insight, are by Alan Rich. The recordings are clear though the studio-based delights of the Suite rather eclipse the thinner concert-hall acoustics of the Concerto.
The recording was supported by Betty Freeman, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Piano by Lou Harrison
Performer:  Keith Jarrett (Piano)
Conductor:  Naoto Otomo
Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1985 
Date of Recording: 1/1986 
Venue:  Kanihoken Hall, Tokyo 
Length: 32 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Suite for Violin, Piano and Small Orchestra by Lou Harrison
Performer:  Lucy Chapman Stoltzman (Violin), Keith Jarrett (Piano)
Conductor:  Robert Hughes
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1951 
Date of Recording: 5/88 
Venue:  RCA Studio A, New York City 

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