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Piano Works: Six Sonatas & One Sonatina [Import]

James Sellars , Fermin Bernetxea , Jean Pierre Dupuy , Julian Jacobson , Anthony De Mare Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)


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MP3 Music, 7 Songs, 2007 $8.99  
Audio CD, Import, 2001 --  

Product Details

  • Performer: Fermin Bernetxea, Jean Pierre Dupuy, Julian Jacobson, Anthony De Mare
  • Composer: James Sellars
  • Audio CD (January 23, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Composers Recordings
  • ASIN: B000056V0O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #540,092 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Pno Son No.4 (Son Brasileira) - Fermin Bernetxea
2. Pno Son No.5 (Son Dada) - Anthony De Mare
3. Sonatina - Julian Jacobson
4. Pno Son No.3 - Aki Takahashi
5. Pno Son No.2 - Scott Dunn
6. Pno Son No.6 (Patterns On A Field) - Lisa Moore
7. Pno Son No.1 - Jean Pierre Dupuy

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rare Treat in American Music February 28, 2001
Format:Audio CD
James Sellars deserves to be called one of Americas most talented composers today. This collection of 7 piano pieces not only documents his dedication to respond to and further develop the rapidly changing compositional currents of the last 30 years, but also forms an ensemble of works univocally expressing his devotion to elegance, imagination and meticulous craftsmanship.
The atonal Sonatas 1,2,and 3 are masterpieces of rhythmic and melodic elegance, and are so sonorically transparent, that they are frequently easier to understand than the complex labyrinth of modal harmonies in Sonata 4, or than the Sonata Dada, which promiscuously taunts the listener with stylistically multilingual puns and pranks.
While the response to the minimalist movement changed Sellars' style and harmonic language, many characteristics of his earlier pieces recur in a translated form in the minimalistically influenced diatonic pieces. The frequently irregular, yet always proportionally perfect rhythmic distribution of the melodic figures in the earlier atonal pieces is reborn in the later sonatas in the shape of figures formed by tonic accents, floating over the more constant pulse of minimalist permutations. Remarkably, Sellars is barely constrained by the algorithmic limitations of minimalist repetition. Rather, he treats permutation as an opportunity to display his exquisite sense of iterative imagination, proportion, melodic elegance, and at times hilarious whit. The results remind me more of a permutationally playful combination of Eric Satie and Gertrude Stein, than of works of the founders of repetitive minimalism.
It is Sellars' whit which forms the thread through all of his styles, be it in the guise of terse elegance in the atonal pieces, dadaistic absurdity , combinatorial obsessions, or the carnevalistically extravagant orgy of notes in the Sonata Brasiliera.
This CD is a rare treat and each of these pieces is worth careful and frequent listening.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars James Sellers: Fabulous American Composer February 15, 2001
Format:Audio CD
This CD is a must-have for all serious music lovers. James Sellars' style is wonderfully poignant, facile, exquisitely creative and imaginative, and exhibits superb craft as well as art. These sonatas and sonatina are now piquant, now metaphysical, and demonstrate a deeply and beautifully developed compositional style which has been absent from the American music scene for too long. What a joy to find and hear these lovely works. I recommend this cd to the true music-lover without reservation. This is a REAL FIND!!!! Dr. Frederick Schuyler Fox
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent CD of recent piano works June 23, 2001
Format:Audio CD
This CD comes with high recommendations! There are quite a few special moments on here: the tangled web of the 1st movement of the Sonatina, the "Neo-Classical meets Dada" Sonata V, and the modernist/postmodernist Sonata III. All of these pieces are excellent in their linear flow, pacing, and overall musical shape. Plus, they're a blast to listen to!
But, the real gem is "Patterns on a Field (Sonata VI)." The opening pattern is simultaneously haunting and riveting; the repetitions are not only welcome but downright refreshing.
All of these works, especially "Patterns" deserve a good, hard listen; frankly, I'm dissapointed that I haven't seen these pieces programmed by more pianists. All of the pieces sound quite "pianistic", alluding to the history of keyboard writing while exploring new (yet expressive) ground.
What comes through on the CD is a composer with a strong knowledge of the history of music, along with a healthy sense of humor. The double coding of works such as the Sonatina (which refers to both Clementi and Ligeti[!]) produce a thoroughly post-modern work that can be appreciated on many, many levels. The idea of the 'traditional fast-slow-fast' form juxtaposed with multiple processes (in the cross accents, and harmonic progessions) is yet another example of Sellar's command of the post-modern view of music.
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