Shawn, Lees: Two American Piano Concertos

Ursula Oppens (piano), Ian Hobson (piano), Albany Symphony Orchestra, David Alan Miller (conductor)

Catalog #: TROY0441
Release Date: May 1, 2001
Format: Digital

You are saying to yourself: Self! Why a disc with two short orchestral pieces and two major new piano concertos? The answer is simple. Each concerto is preceded by a short overture - a curtain raiser, if you will, to prepare the listener for what is to come. Andrew Bishop is a young American composer who studied in Michigan with William Albright, William Bolcom and Michael Daugherty. He is also an active saxophonist who has worked with Ray Charles, The Manhattan Transfer, and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra. "Crooning is a love song without words. Its inspiration is the Golden Age of American popular songs brought to life by Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra." Allen Shawn studied music with Leon Kirchner and Earl Kim at Harvard, in Paris with Nadia Boulanger and at Columbia with Jack Beeson. Since 1985 he has been on the faculty of Bennington College where he teaches composition. He wrote his Piano Concerto for Ursula Oppens who premiered it with the Albany Symphony on March 18, 2000 in the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. The great American composer Benjamin Lees wrote his Piano Concerto No. 2 for the Boston Symphony Orchestra who premiered it in Boston on March 15, 1968. It is great to see more and more of Lees' music showing up on disc. About the delightful Paul Creston Dance Overture, suffice it to say that here this infectious piece finally receives a performance that is worthy of its title.


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Track Listing

Title Composer Performer
Piano Concerto Allen Shawn Albany Symphony Orchestra, David Alan Miller, conductor, Ursula Oppens, piano
Piano Concerto No. 2 Benjamin Lees Albany Symphony Orchestra, David Alan Miller, conductor, Ian Hobson, piano
Crooning Andrew Bishop Albany Symphony Orchestra, David Alan Miller, conductor
Dance Overture Paul Creston Albany Symphony Orchestra, David Alan Miller, conductor


  • "Another splendidly recorded American program from Albany with the impressive Albany Symphony."

    – American Record Guide

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