Yvar Mikhashoff plays Alvin Curran: Piano Works
For Cornelius (1982, revised 1990)
The Last Acts of Julian Beck (1985)
Schtetl Variations (to Feldman) (1987)
Yvar Mikhashoff, piano
This new release marks the first collection of Curran's major works for piano solo. It also marks the first release in Mode's Edition Yvar Mikhashoff, a series documenting the great artistry of the late pianist.
Yvar Mikhashoff was a champion of new and neglected music -- his unique style revealed new facets and insights to every score he played. The full scope of his pianistic brilliance will be showcased in Mode's comprehensive Edition Yvar Mikhashoff, including solo composer recitals, four volumes of The Great American Piano, a disc of Tangos, three discs of Melodramas, and releases of Mikhashoff's own Opera Transcriptions and compositions.
On this first volume of the Edition he turns his attention to his friend Alvin Curran. Curran's music is enjoying increased exposure in the market lately, with recent releases on Catalyst, New Albion and Tzadik.
The three works here are all "in memoriam" to Curran's friends and mentors: composers Morton Feldman and Cornelius Cardew and Julian Beck, cofounder of the Living Theater.
The mesmerizing For Cornelius is a work which evolves from its melancholy Satie-esque beginning to growing repeated tremeloed chords of hair-raising intensity. This is the recorded premiere of the revised version.
The spare, introspective Schtetl Variations (to Feldman) is a fully composed piece with an amazing improvisatory manner. Of this performance, Curran
says: "Yvar played this piece as he did all of my music: as if it were his own -- (he) immediately understood that this music had nothing to do with the notes on
the page; his playing went right to the source."
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