Contemporary Ragtime
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Something different for rag fans - new works in the classic traditions!

While the music on this recording is not Scott Joplin, it most certainly does capture the flavor of old time rags. Sydney Hodkinson, the producer for this series of Eastman recordings says: "From roughly the late 1930s through the early sixties, most serious American composers worked within one of two basic musical encampments, continuing and expanding upon traditions established by the 20th century giants Schoenberg and Stravinsky. In striking contrast to this earlier era, today's younger generation of composer benefits from exposure to what has been called a +veritable salad bowl of styles,' marked by an extremely wide range of character, aesthetics and musical cross-currents. The works represented in this Eastman American Music Series of new music recordings bear eloquent testimony to the effect this healthy and diverse musical diet has had on the work of American composers. Various auditory repasts offer composers a choice of forms and influences from such divergent sources as jazz, non-Western music, romanticism, dodecaphony, minimalism, pop and rock, asceticism, cross-over, and spiritualism and all on the same menu! This variety serves both as a high-calorie, vibrant sign of our own creative times, and as a demanding burden placed upon American composers seeking, indeed groping for, their own unique voices: +Red or green peppers? Radish? How much onion? What kind of lettuce? How do I choose my OWN language that will allow me to speak what I need to say?' The works recorded on this disc present the distinct and often unusual offerings of a few leading, contemporary American +workers' in this sonic kitchen." The pianist for this disc, Tony Caramia, is associate professor of piano at the Eastman School of Music, where he is director of piano pedagogy studies and coordinator of the class piano program.
Contents:
William Albright, composer
Morning Reveries
Tony Caramia, piano

William Albright, composer
Brass Knuckles
Tony Caramia, piano

William Bolcom, composer
The Graceful Ghost
Tony Caramia, piano

William Bolcom, composer
Dream Shadows
Tony Caramia, piano

William Bolcom, composer
Serpent's Kiss
Tony Caramia, piano

Tony Caramia, composer
Travelin' Two-Step
Tony Caramia, piano

Robin Frost, composer
Olympic Stride Waltz
Tony Caramia, piano

Robin Frost, composer
Nocturne
Tony Caramia, piano

Robin Frost, composer
Satisfaction
Tony Caramia, piano

Sydney Hodkinson, composer
Minnie-Rag
Tony Caramia, piano

Glenn Jenks, composer
Queen of Violets
Tony Caramia, piano

Max Morath, composer
The Golden Hours
Tony Caramia, piano

Kevin Putz, composer
Minimalist Rag
Tony Caramia, piano

Trebory Jay Tichenor, composer
Show Me Rag
Tony Caramia, piano

Review:
"These "new" rags are generally faithful to the spirit of the golden age of ragtime, as exemplified by Joplin. Joplin was fully aware of the theatrical possibilities of the format, and was not averse to adding a programmatic spin to some of his own pieces. Some of these later-day ragsters add distinctly late-20th-century touches, including the playful dissonance of Bolcom, and especially, the Phillip Glass-style droning of the Minimalist Rag by Kevin Putz, which is barely recognizable as the same format that Joplin worked in. Most of the rest of the material here is really quite traditional. The individual composers offer some unique touches, such as a jazzy virtuosity in Robert Frost's piece for the 1984 Olympics, or the dueling key signatures of Minnie-Rag by Sydney Hodgkinson. Many of the other rags favor leisurely tempos, and Tony Caramia, who teaches at the Eastman School of Music, performs them with the proper gentle pace. A delightful recital, all told." (Fanfare)
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