Piano Music
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Modern music with an all-American, jazzy tone.

Allen Shawn grew up in New York City and started composing music at the age of ten. He received his B.A. from Harvard where he studied with Leon Kirchner and Earl Kim, spent two years in Paris where he studied with Nadia Boulanger, and received his M.A. in music from Columbia University where he studied with Jack Beeson. Until 1985, he lived in New York City where he taught at the Mannes School and the Elizabeth Seeger School. He also worked as a pianist in pit orchestras on Broadway and at the New York Shakespeare Festival. Since 1985, he has lived in Vermont where he is on the faculty of Bennington College where he teaches composition. The bulk of his output is Chamber and piano music. He has also composed orchestral works, two operas with libretti by his brother, playwright Wallace Shawn, much incidental music for the theater and music for the film "My Dinner with Andre."
Contents:
Allen Shawn, composer
Tango
Allen Shawn, piano

Allen Shawn, composer
Reverie No. 2
Allen Shawn, piano

Allen Shawn, composer
Valentine
Allen Shawn, piano

Allen Shawn, composer
Growl
Allen Shawn, piano

Allen Shawn, composer
Four Jazz Preludes
Allen Shawn, piano

Allen Shawn, composer
Letter To A Friend
Allen Shawn, piano

Allen Shawn, composer
Preludes No. 3, 4, & 5 from Five Preludes
Allen Shawn, piano

Allen Shawn, composer
Three Dance Portraits for piano four-hands
Allen Shawn, Daniel Epstein, piano

Allen Shawn, composer
Reverie No. 3
Allen Shawn, piano

Review:
"...The biggest work here is "Letter to a Friend," a 15-minute piece from 1995. The manner is intimate and discursive even when it becomes explosive; there is something in both the explosions and in the tenderly evocative passages that recalls Ives, including the slow tread away from the confines of space and time at the end....Most of the rest of the pieces reflect Shawn's experience in jazz and theater music, and "Tango," the Four Jazz Preludes, and the three additional Preludes from a 1994 set of five would be welcome on any recital program - they honor but do not condescend to the qualities of various popular idioms; they expand upon those idioms without exploiting them." (Boston Globe)
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