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Henry Dixon Cowell

American Piano Concertos

Label: Col Legno

Format: CD

Genre: Experimental

Out of stock

The great creator of musical novelties hardly ever departed from the melodic harmonious basis, though: his major achievements included not least the development of new techniques for piano playing, which he also integrated in his book New Musical Resources. His Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1928) appears to put the spotlight on the technical and musical-historical findings, whereas in pieces such as Irish Jig and Four Irish Tales he openly and merrily inquires into his Irish background, without ever forgetting his impressive technical skills in the process. The clusters – a designation for which Cowell can most certainly claim the credit – are never a sensational end in itself but always have a melodic motivation: his Concerto Piccolo (1941/45), for instance, is reminiscent of Jean Françaix. Perhaps, contrary to past criticism, it is indeed the tonal basis of his work that makes it so fascinating. Among many others his student John Cage was to take Cowell's ideas further into the present.
Details
Cat. number: WWE 1CD 20064
Year: 1999