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Piano Concerto -The Solway Canal

G. Bryars Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Price: $11.46 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 3 Songs, 2011 $5.99  
Audio CD, 2011 $11.46  

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Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. After Handel's Vesper (version for pianoRalph Van Raat11:45Album Only
listen  2. Ramble on CortonaRalph Van Raat12:31Album Only
listen  3. Piano Concerto, "The Solway Canal"Otto Tausk28:19Album Only


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 22, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B004GX91HU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,929 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

The emotional content, lyricism and direct appeal of Gavin Bryars' music are unique, reflecting a contemporary composer' absorption and transformation of several centuries of musical craftsmanship in order to reflect his, and our, own epoch. Originally wr

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gavin Bryars refines his style with Piano Concerto March 12, 2011
Format:Audio CD
I've always liked Gavin Bryars' music, although I admit I was always more familiar with his earlier works, such as "Bryars: Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet," and "Bryars: The Sinking Of The Titanic / Barnett, Bryars Ensemble, et al." The latter was almost a study in sound landscapes and non-tonal sonorities, crafted to deliver a visceral emotional wallop. Bryars has continued growing as a composer, delving even further into the nature of sound, while refining his musical language.

All of that's beautifully illustrated in this new recording from Naxos. Pianist Ralph van Raat presents three of Bryars' recent compositions for the instrument, two of which are dedicated to van Raat. All three works share certain similarities. There are these long flowing arpeggios played with the damper pedal down. This causes these layered chords to overlap each other, creating an additional voice as sonorities fade in and out.

At first listen, I was reminded briefly of Philip Glass' music -- but only briefly. While flowing diatonic chords are prominent, that's where the similarity ends. Bryar isn't concerned with gradual changes over time. He's more interested in what's happening at the moment. His chords change quickly, although each chord often has several notes in common with the one before it. The result is music that organically flows from point to point, much like a vine.

While the two solo piano works on the album, "After Handel's Vesper" and "Ramble on Cortona" are compelling listening, the piano concerto is a real masterwork.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sense of spacious tranquility in these piano works February 23, 2011
Format:Audio CD
Gavin Bryars' music has focused on a very "post-minimal" sound He creates music that takes a long time to develop, that envelopes simple extended melodies with lush, unusual chord progressions and that hardly ever gets louder than a mezzo forte. His works are truly a radical, unique and undefinable bridge between the worlds of minimalism, new age ambience and jazz and I have come to love it all! Many readers may be familiar with his breakthrough work, "The Sinking of the Titanlic" or the more recent and fascinating "Cello Concerto" This new CD on the Naxos label features three of Bryars' works for piano. The big one - the one that simply demands careful uninterrupted listening - is his Piano Concerto, "The Solway Canal". The first piece on the disc is "After Handel's Vespers" for solo piano (originally written for harpsichord) The work is, indeed, written after pieces of melody found in the 'Vespers' of G F Handel. Some wonderful effects are created by embedding a section of the original melodic line into a very Bryars like minimalist texture. There are moments of ornamentation, such as trills and grupetti that sound like they belong in the golden Baroque and in jazz improvisation equally. Bryars' "Ramble on Cortona" was written for the present performer, Ralph Van Raat, and is based on themes from Bryars' "Laude" for voices which, in turn, is based on some 13th century manuscripts found in Cortona, Italy. This is a very beautiful piece evocative of everything from plainsong to Faure to Monk. The work does "ramble" in a wonderful way through some harmonies that flow together, that surprise and intermingle. The real prize on this disc, though, is the Piano Concerto, "The Solway Canal" This is in no way a "typical" piano concerto. Read more ›
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