Pas Seul: Music for Piano by Alec Wilder, Vol. II
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John Noel Roberts continues his recording of Alec Wilder's solo piano works with this second volume.

It is the supreme love of memorable seminal melodic ideas placed in contrapuntal settings and immersed in warm harmonies inspired from popular, blues, and jazz genres that characterize the piano pieces of Alec Wilder. His short piano works, of which this recording consists, are most often conceived in ternary, binary or rondo forms, and sets of these smaller pieces are combined in suites to create a larger musical form. Pianist John Noel Roberts has collected many of Wilder's short works for piano in this second volume of his works for solo piano. Roberts studied at Eastman and Yale and has an impressive career as an orchestral soloist and recitalist, having appeared at major venues around the world. Currently on the faculty at Our Lady of the Lake University, Roberts has served on music faculties at Furman, UNC-Charlotte, Mercer, Concordia College, Stephen F. Austin State University, and the Western Australian Conservatorium of Music.
Contents:
Alec Wilder, composer
Pas Seul
John Noel Roberts (piano)

Alec Wilder, composer
Suite for Piano V
John Noel Roberts (piano)

Alec Wilder, composer
Piano Series
John Noel Roberts (piano)

Alec Wilder, composer
Castle Promenade
John Noel Roberts (piano)

Alec Wilder, composer
Mort the Pianoforte
John Noel Roberts (piano)

Alec Wilder, composer
Romantic Waltz
John Noel Roberts (piano)

Alec Wilder, composer
Jolly Waltz
John Noel Roberts (piano)

Alec Wilder, composer
Jazz Waltz for a Friend
John Noel Roberts (piano)

Alec Wilder, composer
Theme Number Four
John Noel Roberts (piano)

Alec Wilder, composer
Her First Party Dress
John Noel Roberts (piano)

Alec Wilder, composer
Suite for Piano VI
John Noel Roberts (piano)

Alec Wilder, composer
Lullaby for a Lady
John Noel Roberts (piano)

Alec Wilder, composer
Why?
John Noel Roberts (piano)

Alec Wilder, composer
The Walkaway
John Noel Roberts (piano)

Alec Wilder, composer
Inner Circle
John Noel Roberts (piano)

Alec Wilder, composer
Homework, Lil Darlin' Tempo
John Noel Roberts (piano)

Alec Wilder, composer
Where Are All the Good Companions?
John Noel Roberts (piano)

Alec Wilder, composer
Blackberry Winter
John Noel Roberts (piano)

Review:
Alec Wilder is best known as one of the contributors to the Great American Songbook, with songs championed by such friends as Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, and Tony Bennett. But he always had ambitions as a writer of concert music and opera, and studied composition (briefly, and without nabbing a diploma) at the Eastman School of Music, in his hometown of Rochester, New York. This charming collection of solo piano works, almost inevitably, shows off both sides of his musical personality. There are 38 tracks on this CD, so yes, the works are all very short, ranging from 37 seconds to just a minute and a half. Not surprisingly, Wilder’s melodic gift shines brightly here. Even the simplest, shortest snippets exude a beguiling lyricism. The other characteristic that flows through this program is Wilder’s original harmonic sensibility, in which simple chords play against dissonant clusters, all the while proceeding at an utterly natural, even leisurely pace…This project comes across as a labor of love for pianist John Noel Roberts, who actually did graduate from Eastman. His playing is richly colored and relaxed, although he manages the tricky sounding contrapuntal sections with precision and grace. (Fanfare)

…Wilder lived from 1907 to 1980; he studied briefly at Eastman and started writing popular music in the late 1920s, eventually making the transition to mostly concert music. There are 38 short pieces here, tonal, tuneful, and with few complications, whether rhythmic or harmonic. Some are Schumannesque, some are jazzy, and all are humble. Roberts plays them well… the sound is clear but not too dry.…if you liked Volume 1 you’ll want this. (American Record Guide)
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