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American Piano Music from 78rpm Recordings - PAKM044

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American Piano Music from 78rpm Recordings - PAKM044-CD
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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.


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
    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

Sleevenotes, 1941

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.

Andrew Rose

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.





CD covers to print:
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PAKM044 cover

CD-writing cuesheet (save as .cue):
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Cue sheet

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