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American Innovator


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Audio CD, October 12, 1993
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 12, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music & VI
  • ASIN: B00000E55N
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,296 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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"The American Innovator", mind you, not "innovators", as if there was a particularly American compositional strain in favor of innovation - and maybe so. Possibly the sheer geographical distance from Europe made it easier for American composers (such as Cowell and Cage) to do away with European tradition, and the widespread sentiment, after World War I, that the United States was a new major power that stood on its own worked in the same direction.

Of course one can always discuss the contents of such a collection, both for what it includes and for what it doesn't. Young George Antheil and George Crumb - two essential American innovators, in my opinion - are absent. But then to include Griffes' Debussysms is far-fetched - unless anything that strayed from American "parlor" Romanticism is deemed innovative. What then is an "American innovator"? One of those "outsiders who consciously shun the dominant European-oriented culture" and are "isolated from the mainstream", as the notes put it? But Ives, the unquestionable epitome of the American Innovator, could dynamite the European traditional only because he was so deeply steeped in it. And the American serialists, like Babbitt, far from shuning the European model, took on the compositional "system" of Schoenberg-Webern and pushed its limits, just as Boulez and others were doing in Europe. So maybe an American Innovator is just a non-Romantic American composer that happens to be featured on this disc (part of a series that includes American Virtuoso,
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 18, 2004
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Alan Feinberg is one of the finest pianists interpreting contemporary music today. Anything he does deserves a listen. This album is a little survey of mostly mid to late 20th Century piano music. And it is a delight. It covers a variety of styles from jazz age through serialism and even a little minimalism. Many pieces recorded here are not to be found elsewhere. It is a shame that this has gone out of print. Get a used copy if you can you will not regret it. Perhaps some visionary record company can re-release it. Do you hear me New World Records, Naxos?
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