Notes and Editorial Reviews
This is an exciting new album bundle of five previously released albums from Navona Records. What Are They Doing To That Piano? features composers and artists dedicated to finding the most adventurous and compelling sounds that the piano has to offer. Opening with works composed by John Cage, the virtual godfather of prepared piano, and performed by the virtuosic Kate Boyd, this bundle contains one of the most eclectic collections of solo piano music a listener will ever encounter. Ice & Fire, first released in 2013 by Navona Records, features six compositions by Stephen Scott for the Bowed Piano Ensemble, including Afternoon of a Fire, written for bowed piano and improvised native american flute in memory of a wildfire that occurred in his native Colorado. The album also includes experimental works that interpret the concept of drones, a piece with five miniatures for bowed piano, and Scott's first written piece for voice and bowed piano. Originally released on Ravello Records in 2016, 16-2-60-N-5: Works for Electronics & Piano, by composer and pianist Sidney Bailin, shows how musical technique can exist solely to help him tell his secrets. A combination of piano and electroacoustic works, 16-2-60-N-5 transforms patterns and structures into a viscerally and emotionally gripping sound experience. Felt, a compilation for solo piano first offered by Navona Records in 2015, presents the works of a number of composers including Matthew Durrant and Byron Petty. With each composer comes a subtly different perception of what the piano is capable, a degree of variation that presents itself repeatedly in the kaleidoscopic collection of pieces included on this release. On An Evolving Cycle, Gheorghe Costinescu's second Ravello Records album, first released in 2013, the composer explores the manner in which keyboard idioms evolved from Baroque to 21st-century contemporary, charting the evolution of form and technique with a deft control of style. Throughout this collection, the composers and performers run the gamut of stylistic and physical variations possible for the piano and its repertoire. It seems only fitting that these albums would ultimately be combined into a single compendium of the piano at its finest, and we are pleased to finally offer, in collected form, What Are They Doing To That Piano?