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Minimal Piano Collection [Box Set] [Box set]

Philip Glass , John Cage , John Adams , Terry Riley , Tom Johnson , Arvo Pärt , Michael Nyman , Yann Tiersen , Erik Satie , Jeroen van Veen Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Price: $56.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Minimal Piano Collection [Box Set] + Minimal Piano Collection, Vol. X-XX: Jeroen van Veen & Friends
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Product Details

  • Performer: Jeroen van Veen
  • Composer: Philip Glass, John Cage, John Adams, Terry Riley, Tom Johnson, et al.
  • Audio CD (November 6, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 9
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Brilliant Classics
  • ASIN: B000WC3878
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #388,318 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Editorial Reviews

This unusual collection is dedicated to the very popular style: minimal music. Over the years this has evolved from austere, almost strict repetition with tiny movements to a more varied and free approach to material and technique. This set includes works for piano solo by most of the famous minimal composers. Starting with initiator, if you will, Cage, and followed by the first generation entirely devoting itself to this style: Riley and Glass. The next generation is represented by John Adams and Michael Nyman. Dutch pianist Jeroen van Veen is fascinated by minimal music. He was one of the participants on the highly successful complete recordings of Simeon ten Holt s a Dutch minimalist complete works for multiple piano s. On this solo album once again he demonstrates with great flair his affinity with minimalism. The repertoire included here also comprises compositions by Satie, Friedrich Nietzsche and Arvo Pärt. There are two CD s with music by the pianist himself and several recordings of minimal pieces by other present-day French, Belgian and Dutch composers. This attractive set will appeal to a wide audience and may shed some light on the present state of minimalism.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Do I need to repeat ? May 24, 2008
10 hours and 15 minutes of minimalist piano! The closest I'd gotten to that was with LaMonte Young's The Well-Tuned Piano 81 X 25, 6:17:50 - 11:18:59 PM NYC on Gramavision, and that was "only" five hours - and it took me ten years to get through that one! At least, with this nine CD collection, you don't get one continuous work. You can stop whenever you want without feeling like you should start all over again.

Where program overlaps with the two-volume collection of "Minimal Pianoworks" published in 1999 and 2001 by pianist Joeren van Veen on his own label PIANO (most of the Glass pieces contained on Disc I, Pärt, Cage, ten Holt, Satie's Vexations and Nietszche's "Fragment an sich" from Disc IV), it appears that these are not reissues but new recordings, made in 2006.

As much as I enjoy "minimalism" when it describes the music of Feldman and sometimes Cage or, in Europe, Scelsi, Sciarrino, Lachenmann, Pesson - e.g. works with very few musical events, often slow moving, at the edge of nothingness, each event acquiring great dramatic importance -, I must confess to having problems with what I prefer to coin "repetitive music", best exemplified by Glass, Reich, Adams, Nyman, Riley - and it is mainly such works that are featured on this set. It is not the repetition I mind, but what I still haven't understood is, why does it have to be based on such simplistic and saccharine harmonies, that seem never to go beyond the level of the folk ballad. And this is indeed exactly what the music of the French Song and film-music writer Yann Tiersen of Amélie Poulain fame (Disc V, "The Movies") sounds like - and the pieces of Michael Nyman, on the same disc, aren't far removed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Minimalistic Tour de Force (Wait--is that an oxymoron?) December 29, 2012
This is a total tour de force: with both sets, 20 CDs of music, including some extremely demanding performances, both musically and technically, marvelously executed. Includes some perhaps borderline choices when it comes to what might or might not be minimal: Nyman's music for the film The Piano, for instance--but what the heck, Nyman is a major influence and pioneer in the minimalist genre and the score for The Piano remains a great delight.

A friend once commented to me, "I find that when it comes to minimalism, a little goes a long way." He would not be a big fan of these CDs. And to be fair, my daughter, who recently earned a degree in music education, has threatened to leave the house if exposure to what she takes as mindless musical repetition was not soon curtailed. But whatever your reservations, it's a staggeringly ambitious project, and I think a great success, a true feast for those open to going along for the journey. Forget what minimalism might or might not be: the past few decades include some deeply beautiful compositions.

This is a personal look by van Veen across a wide spectrum of music for piano, well-performed and well-produced, heavy on Dutch composers and including some curiosities like the Friedrich Nietzsche piece. The passion behind both performances and production is something the listener senses immediately. Liner notes include a fine, insightful opening essay on minimalism by van Veen. This collection is most highly recommended for lovers of piano, of contemporary music, and of music in the general vicinity of the minimalist genre.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Technical and sonic feast August 6, 2010
By willem
Verified Purchase
Overload? Too much minimalism? When more of less is not enough? Overall, this collection of minimal piano music is not for the faint-eared. Individual pieces within the collection will appeal to a range of people: from those who enjoy movie sound tracks to long distance truck drivers with a sense of humour and like to blend their aural experience with the mesmerising rhythm of the road, for want of a better analogy. Either way, the collection represents a thoroughly enjoyable experience from the familiar to the less heard. Thanks for putting it together in such an accessible manner.
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