||Jeanne Behrend, piano
Rudolph Ganz, piano
Recorded c.1941 & c.1944
XR remastering by Andrew Rose at Pristine Audio, September 2011
Cover artwork based on a photographs of the composers
Total duration: 46:57
©2011 Pristine Audio.
Download ID: 1501917-20
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From the neglected to the well-known - American piano music
Thirteen composers represented in this superb and accessible cross-section
MACDOWELL Marionettes Suite, Op. 38 (10:41) [notes / score]
Rudolph Ganz piano
Recorded c.1944, issued in 1947 as US Decca album A-576
Catalogue Nos. 24153-4
Matrix Nos. 71878-81
"Piano Music by American Composers"
- CHASINS Prelude in D minor, Op.13, No.5 (1:23) [notes]
- CHASINS Prelude in F sharp minor, Op.11, No.1 (0:37) [notes]
- GERSHWIN Prelude in B flat major (1:35) [notes]
- GERSHWIN Prelude in C sharp major (3:07) [notes]
- GERSHWIN Prelude in E flat major (1:11) [notes]
- MASON The Whippoorwill, Op.9, No.4 (from Country Pictures) (3:20) [notes]
- MACDOWELL March Wind, Op.46, No.10 (from Virtuouso Studies) (1:49) [notes]
- CARPENTER Diversion (2:10) [notes]
- GUION Country Jig (2:31) [notes]
- THOMPSON Song After Sundown (2:54) [notes]
- FREED March (from 5 Pieces for Piano) (1:56) [notes]
- DETT Adagio Cantabile (2:36) [notes]
- SOWERBY The Lonely Fiddlemaker (2:16) [notes]
- BAUER White Birches, Op.12, No.1 (from The New Hampshire Woods) (2:07) [notes]
- FARWELL Navajo War Dance, Op.20, No.1 (2:25) [notes]
- BEACH Improvisation (No. 2 from 5 Improvisations) (0:55) [notes]
- FARWELL Sourwood Mountain, Op.78, No.3 (3:12) [notes]
Jeanne Behrend piano
Recorded c.1941, issued as "Piano Music by American Composers"
RCA Victor Musical Masterpiece Series M-764
Catalogue Nos. 17910-17913
FLAC Downloads includes PDF score of the Marionette Suite and original sleevenotes to Behrend release
THE necessity for a recorded volume of American piano music has long been recognized, and we are singularly fortunate in having so sensitive a performer as Jeanne Behrend to select and present to us a portion of this neglected repertoire. "My interest in American music," writes Miss Behrend, "dates some ten years back when I watched the struggles and disappointments of a young composer who, together with his colleagues, was finding it very difficult to combat the curious and widespread distrust of native-born composers. Later, I reviewed critically my own piano compositions and found them not wanting in merit, but realized that they were doomed to lie on the shelf because of a general lack of interest in American music, as evidenced by the general run of recital programs. I multiplied my case by several others and decided that there must be plenty of good piano music written here; it had only to be found. So I wrote to over sixty composers and ten publishers, asking them to send me their music in order to facilitate a survey of American piano music. They complied very kindly, and after the severe task of selection and preparation, I found that I had enough material for three recitals of American piano music, old and new. The recitals were given in Philadelphia and in New York in the early Spring of 1939.
"This record album is, for the most part, chosen from the three programs, and is admittedly on the conservative side. In compiling it, many problems of program-making and grouping had to be met. This, plus the fact that certain works had already been recorded and that certain composers have not written for the piano, accounts for the omission of several well-known names in American music.
"The album is obviously not meant to represent a complete survey of American piano music, but if it speaks understandably to the sincere lover of music, and if it arouses an interest in more research along these lines, it shall have achieved its purpose."
Excerpt from sleevenotes to "Piano Music by American Composers", - download full notes
Notes on the recordings:
The Decca album Marionettes Suite consisted of two near mint but somewhat crackly 10-inch 78s. These showed considerable variation in top end hiss across the discs, to the extent that attempting smooth side joins risked damaging the music, hence the fades between movements. The RCA Victor album of Jeanne Behrend's performances, across four 12-inch discs, was similarly in excellent condition. Whilst less crackly some sides did suffer swish, most of which has now been tamed or removed. They also benefit from a better recording of the piano, though peak distortion was occasionally an issue. Overall, and together, a delightful collection.
Extensive notes on the transfer and remastering of this release appear in a column by Andrew Rose in the Pristine Newsletter of 23rd September 2011 - newsletters can be viewed online here.
Click here to view additional notes
Biographical notes from Wikipedia
Jeanne Behrend (11 May 1911 – 20 March 1988) was an American pianist, music educator, musicologist and composer.
Jeanne Behrend was born in Philadelphia and graduated from the Curtis Institute in 1934, where she studied piano with Josef Hofmann and composition with Rosario Scalero.
After completing her education, she worked as a pianist and composer and taught music at Juilliard, the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music, and Temple University. Becoming aware of the lack of opportunity for American composers, she became a champion of American music and concentrated on her career as a performer.
Behrend received the Joseph Bearns prize from Columbia University in 1936 for composition. She was recommended for sponsorship by Heitor Villa-Lobos and toured in South America from 1945-46. She founded and directed the Philadelphia Festival of Western Hemisphere Music in 1959 and 1960 and was awarded the Order of the Southern Cross from Brazil. Behrend died in Philadelphia and her papers are housed in the Free Library in the city.
Selected works include:
- A Child's Day, piano suite
- From Dawn to Dusk for orchestra, 1939
- Lamentation for viola and pianoforte, 1944
- Quiet Piece for piano, 1932
- Festival Fanfare: Prelude to the National Anthem, 1959
Behrend edited Louis Moreau Gottschalk's Notes of a Pianist (New York, 1964) and also selections of his music.
Notes from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeanne_Behrend
Biographical notes from Wikipedia
Rudolph Ganz (24 February 1877, Zürich, Switzerland – 2 August 1972, Chicago) was a Swiss pianist, conductor and composer. He claimed direct descent from Charlemagne.
A pupil of Ferruccio Busoni in Berlin, Ganz became head of piano studies at the Chicago Musical College in 1901. From 1921 to 1927 he was the conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and did much to raise it to the top rank of orchestras. While in St. Louis, he was initiated as an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity in 1924 at the University of Missouri. From 1928 he returned to teach at the Chicago Musical College, serving as its president from 1934 to 1958.
Ganz was active in the promotion of new music throughout his career. In 1923 he received the Légion d'honneur of France for his introduction of the works of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel to American audiences, and in later years he performed and conducted pieces by Pierre Boulez, John Cage and Arthur Honegger. Ravel, in a letter to Ganz, thanked him for his performances of Ravel's work, and dedicated Scarbo the third part of his composition Gaspard de la Nuit to him in gratitude.
His pupils included Abby Whiteside, Mollie Margolies, Gena Branscombe, Beatrice Sharp Karan, Adrian Lerner Newman Goldman and Vera Bradford.
Notes from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolph_Ganz
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