Bowles: Complete Piano Works, Vol. 1 / Invencia Piano Duo

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Celebrated for books such as The Sheltering Sky, Paul Bowles was one of a very select group of artists who excelled as both composer and...

Celebrated for books such as The Sheltering Sky, Paul Bowles was one of a very select group of artists who excelled as both composer and writer. He was a distinctive and original composer and in the first of two CDs devoted to his piano works – both solo and duo – the music is grouped cyclically, stylistically or thematically. This selection includes works inspired by Latin American themes that are amongst his most atmospheric, as well as the blues-infused Six Preludes. The challenging but outstanding Sonata for Two Pianos is one of the best-kept secrets of American piano music. Also included are pieces written for Bowles by Leonard Bernstein and Virgil Thomson.

REVIEW:

Most of the works here are miniatures, are modest in scope yet generous in charm and wit, the exception being Bowles’s 1947 Sonata for two pianos.

Terse and punchy counterpoint characterizes its first movement, along with unexpected silences and quick allusions to waltzes. A long, austere and melancholically melodic Molto tranquillo follows, giving no hint of the rhythmically complex, cluster-filled third movement to come. Andrey Kasparov and Oksana Lutsyshyn are both on top of the notes and inside the music; the rhythmic complexities and tricky tutti attacks don’t faze their ensemble synchronicity one iota.

Bowles’s application of mixed metres in the two Huapangos from the Four Latin Amerian Pieces are cut from the same cloth as Copland’s better-known El Salón México, although La Cuelga’s quick-change modulations signify an original voice, as do the ungeneric twists and turns throughout a group of small portraits written in tribute to friends.

The latter works gain context heard alongside portraits of Bowles by Virgil Thomson and Leonard Bernstein. Among the Six Preludes, notice No 3’s sly references to Chopin’s A major Prelude, while the raggy asymmetry of No 4 might be described as Charles Ives without the rough edges. Several piano arrangements preserve incidental music from theatre productions for which the original orchestral scores are lost. Three lovely examples of Bowles’s prolific song output are rendered in stylistically apt piano-duet arrangements by Kasparov, who also provides informative and scholarly annotations. A valuable release at any price.

-- Gramophone (Jed Distler)



Product Description:


  • Release Date: April 08, 2016


  • UPC: 636943978627


  • Catalog Number: 8559786


  • Label: Naxos


  • Number of Discs: 1


  • Period: 20th Century


  • Composer: Leonard Bernstein, Paul Bowles, Virgil Thomson


  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Invencia Piano Duo


  • Performer: Andrey Kasparov, Oksana Lutsyshyn



Works:


  1. Huapango no 1 for Piano

    Composer: Paul Bowles

    Performer: Andrey Kasparov (Piano)


  2. Tierra Mojada

    Composer: Paul Bowles

    Performer: Andrey Kasparov (Piano)


  3. Guayanilla

    Composer: Paul Bowles

    Performer: Andrey Kasparov (Piano)


  4. Huapango no 2

    Composer: Paul Bowles

    Performer: Andrey Kasparov (Piano)


  5. Portrait of KMC

    Composer: Paul Bowles

    Performer: Oksana Lutsyshyn (Piano)


  6. Portrait of B.A.M.

    Composer: Paul Bowles

    Performer: Oksana Lutsyshyn (Piano)


  7. Portrait of 5

    Composer: Paul Bowles

    Performer: Oksana Lutsyshyn (Piano)


  8. Souvenir: Paul Bowles, portrait for piano (Portraits, Album 3, No. 7)

    Composer: Virgil Thomson

    Performer: Oksana Lutsyshyn (Piano)


  9. For Paul Bowles

    Composer: Leonard Bernstein

    Performer: Oksana Lutsyshyn (Piano)


  10. La Cuelga

    Composer: Paul Bowles

    Performer: Oksana Lutsyshyn (Piano)


  11. Constance Askew in the Garden

    Composer: Paul Bowles

    Performer: Andrey Kasparov (Piano)


  12. Folk Preludes

    Composer: Paul Bowles

    Performer: Oksana Lutsyshyn (Piano)


  13. Apotheosis (A Dance for Welland Lathrop)

    Composer: Paul Bowles

    Performer: Oksana Lutsyshyn (Piano)


  14. The Wind Remains: Dance

    Composer: Paul Bowles

    Performer: Oksana Lutsyshyn (Piano)


  15. Pastorella: El Indio

    Composer: Paul Bowles

    Performer: Oksana Lutsyshyn (Piano)


  16. Preludes (6) for Piano

    Composer: Paul Bowles

    Performer: Andrey Kasparov (Piano)


  17. Mes de Mayo

    Composer: Paul Bowles

    Ensemble: Invencia Piano Duo


  18. April fool baby

    Composer: Paul Bowles

    Ensemble: Invencia Piano Duo


  19. Sleeping Song

    Composer: Paul Bowles

    Ensemble: Invencia Piano Duo


  20. Sonata for 2 Pianos

    Composer: Paul Bowles

    Ensemble: Invencia Piano Duo