Finnissy: Gershwin Arrangements, More Gershwin / Huisman
· Michael Finnissy (b. 1946) is one of the most important post-war composers, known for his highly complex music and extreme demands on the performers.
· In his two collections of Gershwin Arrangements Finnissy arranged many of the well-known songs for piano solo. Finnissy grew up often listening to LPs of this music, performed by popular singers as Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, and Ella Fitzgerald. On social occasions and in the jazz dance classes he accompanied early on in his career, he sometimes played these Gershwin songs. Some years later, this led to these wonderful compositions in which Gershwin’s famous melodies are, without serious alterations, recontextualized. The arrangements are rich and detailed with a polyphonic web that is filled with many layers of meaning.
· As Finnissy states, the inversion of mood in so many of these movements is central to his approach: “Tempo and harmony change from fast to slow, light to dark, and vice versa. Forceful sentiments become quite docile. Unbridled joy turns to melancholy. Blithe security is transformed into tense and upsetting ambiguity. Naïve grows cynical. Day changes into night, and girls become boys.” (Finnissy, 2004).
· Belgian pianist Lukas Huisman is one of the most remarkable and original pianists of his generation. From 2012 to 2016 he worked on an artistic doctoral project relating to contemporary complex solo piano music (Ferneyhough, Finnissy, Xenakis, Sorabji) at the School of Arts Ghent/University Ghent. He premièred Sorabji’s Symphonic Nocturne and recorded this monumental piece for solo piano on the Piano Classics label, for which he also recorded the piano music by Takemitsu, which was nominated for the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik
Catalog Number: PCL10218
Label: Piano Classics
Number of Discs: 1