TO . . ., 3
Veddy British Music
(Kraft) <> Going Into 'Understated Drive' (Kroll), 6
DOTTED NOTES from … Kraft, Kroll, Greenfest, Hickey, BLC, 16
SPEAKING OUT! Thoughts on the Pulitzer Prize, 17
THE PRINTED WORD Berger's Reflections (Kraft), 20
THE SCOREBOARD Sperry's Encores (Drogin), 21
Mini but Not Mousy
(Cleary) <> Bell's Echoes of Bela (Cleary) <> Just a Few Will Do (Cleary),
RECENT RELEASES, 24
THE PUZZLE CORNER, 25
COMPOSER INDEX, 27
BULLETIN BOARD, 27
Modern Orchestra Project
Shadows: Laurel Ann Maurer
Review of CD
GLORIA CHENG: PIANO DANCE, A 20th CENTURY PORTRAIT
Joan Huang, "Red Ribbon Dance" from Reflections after a Rainbow; William Albright, "Sleepwalker's Shuffle" from Dream Rags; Claude Debussy, "Golliwog's Cakewalk" from Children's Corner; Samuel Adler, "Like a Tarantelle" from The Road to Terpsichore; Paul Hindemith, "Shimmy" from Suite 1922; Bohuslav Martinu, Polka in E Major; Gyorgy Ligeti, Hungarian Rock for Harpsichord (Chaconne); Bela Bartok, Rumanian Dance, Opus 8a, No. 1; Igor Stravinsky, Tango; Samuel Barber, Hesitation-Tango from Souvenirs; Per Norgard, A Tortoise's Tango (Without Jealousy); Leo Ornstein, Waltz No. 7; Alexander Scriabin, Mazurka in D-flat Major, Opus 40, No. 1; Francis Poulenc, Valse-Improvisation sur le nom de BACH; Maurice Ravel, "Waltz IV" from Valses nobles et sentimentales; George Antheil, "Percussion Dance" from La Femme de 100 Tetes; Philip Glass, Modern Love Waltz; Henry Cowell, Lilt of the Reel; Sergei Prokofiev, "Rigaudon" from Ten Episodes for Piano, Opus 12; Federico Mompou, Cancion y Danza, No. 6; Alberto Ginastera, Danzas Criollas, No. 1; Donald R. Davis, Illicit Felicity; Miguel del Aguila, Conga
Gloria Cheng, piano
This often charming release can be seen as a broad ranging compendium of 20th century dance-derived piano encores. Twenty-three short entries, some being individual movements from larger pieces, appear. Composers included run the gamut from prewar standard names (Bartok, Debussy, Stravinsky) to lesser-knowns of the same period (Antheil, Cowell, Mompou) to postwar notables (Samuel Adler, Alberto Ginastera, Per Norgard) to youngish unknowns. Including at least one entry from the serialist wing of the past hundred years, such as a movement from the relatively approachable Suite Opus 25 of Schoenberg, would have been appreciated, though.
While the post-1950 selections tend to be rather weak on this disc, a few worthy exceptions should be noted, specifically William Albrights stylish, personable "Sleepwalkers Shuffle" from Dream Rags (1970), Leo Ornstein's heartfelt, sophisticated Waltz No. 7 (1966), Philip Glass' warm, becoming Modern Love Waltz (1977), and Gyorgy Ligeti's obsessive, energetic Hungarian Rock for Harpsichord (Chaconne) (1978) arranged by the soloist for piano and synthesized piano.
Gloria Cheng's playing here is excellent, featuring sensitive melodic shaping, able technique, and a bright sound that nicely balances energy and taste. Production and sound are top-flight.