Complete Piano Music, Vol. 1
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The first volume of this significant musician's complete piano works is beautifully performed by Naomi Niskala.

Robert Helps was one of the few musicians of the 20th century who identified himself as both a pianist and composer, a tradition of musical life that was more akin to previous centuries. To Helps, these dual facets of life were equally important and highly dependent on each other. As a teenager he studied piano with Abby Whiteside and composition with Roger Sessions. Helps often wrote about Whiteside's "outlining" or "the magic of rhythm:" the importance of feeling one's way through a piece not by individual notes, but by larger sections that draw one towards a much longer destination. And it was Sessions who jump-started Help's career as one of the leading American new music pianists of the 1940s and 1950s, when he handed Helps a copy of his From My Diary. Helps would eventually give the New York premiere of Sessions's Sonata No. 2. As a composer Helps forged his own way, identifying with no single style. His works have been described as neo-romantic and tonal, impressionistic, twelve-tone, and minimalist. Albany is proud to present this first volume of the complete works for solo piano as performed by Naomi Niskala, a pupil of Gilbert Kalish and Claude Frank. Helps did so much for American music with his classic recordings of the past forty years or so, and it's time to hear his own remarkable piano works in a complete edition.
Contents:
Robert Helps, composer
Shall We Dance
Naomi Niskala, piano

Robert Helps, composer
In Retrospect
Naomi Niskala, piano

Robert Helps, composer
Nocturne
Naomi Niskala, piano

Robert Helps, composer
Valse Mirage
Naomi Niskala, piano

Robert Helps, composer
Music for the Left Hand: Three Etudes for Solo Piano
Naomi Niskala, piano

Robert Helps, composer
Fantasy Fontana
Naomi Niskala, piano

Robert Helps, composer
3 Hommages
Naomi Niskala, piano

Robert Helps, composer
Radiance
Naomi Niskala, piano

Robert Helps, composer
Postcards
Naomi Niskala, piano

Robert Helps, composer
Four Song Transcriptions
Naomi Niskala, piano

Review:
"Naomi Niskala is a bold, rigorous, poetic champion of this tough-minded but eclectic composer. Helps's legacy is in good hands. ...This is definitely a series to watch." (American Record Guide)

"...I highly recommend this collection of solo piano works of a modest American iconoclast master, and look forward to the next volume." (Fanfare)
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