Okay, I guess it is time for the answer and the winners...
>The tour continues. This week's mystery piece also comes from Rick Mabry,
>and he's not giving any hints this time.
>The clip is at: http://www.classical.net/sample05.mp3
>Don't know why, but it sounds Russian to me. Medtner?
It would be interesting to figure out why you did think it sounded
Russian, which it is (but it isn't Medtner). I submitted it because
to me it seemed to me fairly singular in style. I would probably have
guessed something rather modern, but it was written around 1907 when the
composer was about 16 years old. I find it to be a spooky little Phantom
and I'd love to hear more pieces that do for me what this one does.
>I was going to say the same thing, but on the real possibility that neither
>of us is right, how about York Bowen?
This was a new name to me.
The "English Rachmaninov", eh? Scott, would you care to recommend a
recording to start with, especially with the mystery selection in mind?
I have impulsively grabbed one by Stephen Hough, which seems a safe bet.
Max replied to Jeff:
>Funny, I was thinking the opposite side of the globe. It reminded me of
I'm glad it isn't just me.
>I think it is by Rachmaninoff
Another Russian vote, but not our boy.
>Actually, it sounds to me like either Prokofiev or Samuel Barber,
>particularly something like the final-movement fugue to the Piano Sonata.
We have a half-winner! And I'll have to listen again to that Barber.
I have McCawley and Horowitz. But Prokofiev it is.
>I don't know what music it is, it does sound like Prokofiev, but it
>sounds like Martha Argerich playing.
Actually, that recording is played by Oleg Marshev. I have every recording
of this piece that I know of: Marshev, Frederic Chiu, Abdel Rahman El
Bacha, Gyorgy Sandor, and Boris Berman. There are some very different
styles here. If anyone here knows of another recording, my obsessive
self would be eager to know of it.
>My initial finger pointing gravitated toward Ginastera - very rhythmic with
>an ostinato bass: patently Ginastera... However, it's too tonally centered
>for Ginastera and not dissonant enough (what, no tone clusters?).
(But hey, it's in 5/8 time.) Another for Ginastera, interesting. Care
to name a Ginastera piece that is in some way similar, evocative,
reminiscent or somehow comparable?
>I then thought of Villa-Lobos, and quickly discounted him. It's definitely
>not the Barber Sonata. It's also definitely not Rachmaninov, nor Medtner.
>However, others have suggested that it sounds Russian, and so I began to
>think of whom it just might be. It's 20th C., but not as late as
>The excerpt to me also sounds as though it might very well be the entire
Yes, it is the entire 4th movement "Phantome" of "Four Pieces" Opus 3.
>I'm only familiar with one 20th C. Russian composer who wrote quite a few
>piano miniatures - excluding Prokofiev, and this just isn't Prokofiev to
Tee hee! I wondered how many people might be surprised by this.
>Deductive reasoning leads me to vote for Alexandre Tcherepnin.
Ah, thanks for mentioning Tcherepnin, whom I've neglected for about
a year. Because of this message I put on Murray McLachlan's volume 1
of Tcherepnin's piano music. I noticed (again) that the similarity to
Prokofiev is extreme in some spots. In the opening of the Toccata No.
1 (1921) and around 5:45 into the piece, for instance, I cannot help but
be strongly reminded of part of Prokofiev's 8th sonata (1939-44). I
wonder if there was some direct connnection there... (I'm always so
>Time for a trip to the Lincoln Center Library...
I hope it was a good trip and that I haven't spoiled the fun.
>I'll vote for Ornstein - How about the 4th sonata??
I vote for Ornstein's 4th sonata, too. Meaning, I think I'll listen to it
soon. I can see why Ornstein comes to mind.
>Could it be by Nikolai Kapustin?
Another name I didn't know. There is a disk of piano music played by
Marc-Andre Hamelin that I have just now ordered (through Amazon via
CML). Thank you, Stephen!
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Thanks to all for their thoughts and suggestions,