Wednesday, September 05, 2007

We Knew It Was Great ...

... but it's gratifying to see composer Stephen Scott get some well-deserved praise for his bowed piano music: Scott's 1996 CD, "Vikings of the Sunrise," has been named one of "Music's Best-Kept Secrets" in the September 2007 issue of Gramophone magazine.

Five Gramophone critics tackled the challenge of finding 50 classical CDs that were both exceptionally good and relatively neglected. "Scott has 10 players manipulate a Baldwin grand's innards like demented puppeteers, and they create lush, twangy, hypnotic sonorities like nothing you've ever imagined," writes critic Jed Distler.

In the world of bowed piano, Scott is god: He created the medium and its literature, and directs the ensemble that performs it. A bowed piano concert is one of the local music scene's uniquely fabulous experiences, as the musicians move around the piano creating mysterious sounds. (So far I've missed the demented puppeteer angle.) But as Gramophone's recognition highlights, the music sounds great even without the choreography.

The CD is New Albion NA084. Colorado College blurb here; online portion of the original article here.


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