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George Perle: Eight Pieces (1938-1997)

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 1, 2014
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Editorial Reviews

As the George Perle centennial year (2015) nears, pianist Michael Brown makes an important contribution to our knowledge of the American-master's keyboard music. The earliest work on this disc, Classic Suite, as well as the most recently completed composition, Chansons cachées, are world-premiere recordings, with the entire program reflecting the performer's deep involvement with Perle's music over more than a decade. Writing to Michael Brown in 2003, Perle commented that: it is a privilege to hear my music performed with such sympathy and understanding. Thank you!

Product Details

  • Conductor: *
  • Composer: George Perle
  • Audio CD (May 1, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bridge Records, Inc.
  • ASIN: B00JQ0J2M2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #434,429 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Every composer should have a champion. For George Perle, that champion is pianist Michael Brown. As a teenaged virtuoso, Brown fell in love with Perle's music and had an opportunity to meet the composer. That developed into a close personal and professional relationship over the years, culminating in this release.

Brown collects not only Perle's published works for solo piano, but some earlier works still unperformed at the time of Perle's death. Brown has a deep understanding of Perle's music, and that makes this collection so exciting to listen to. The eight works span Perle's creative output. The earliest work, the 1938 "Classical Suite" receives it's world premier recording here.

In many ways, it's similar to Prokofiev's "Classical Symphony." While using traditional forms and mostly tonal harmonies, Perle continually plays against expectations as his melodies veer off into unexpected directions.

The "Six Celebratory Inventions" (1989-1997) is the collection that Brown played for Perle as a teenager. Each invention honors a different composer by imitating his style. And while one can hear the dedicatee in each movement -- Leonard Bernstein, Gunther Schuller, Ernst Krenek, et al -- it's all filtered through Perle's inventive imagination, giving this set an overarching sense of cohesion.

Michael Brown has lived with some of these works for a while, and he plays with authority and sensitivity. Perle isn't primarily known for his keyboard compositions. Brown's performances suggest they should be reassessed.
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George Perle’s music never dilly-dallies. It doesn’t beat around the bush; it goes straight to the point. Wit and vivacity are the hallmarks of his language, leavened with lyricism and invective. Fluid, pliant—and occasionally acerbic—his music communicates with clarity and purpose.

Pianist Michael Brown plays Perle’s music with conviction and a distinctive flair. With his infallible command of the instrument, he has a way of unearthing new depths of artistic meaning.

The recorded sound would have benefited from greater crispness and less echo.
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Technically perfect performances, in fact just a little TOO perfect. I would prefer more feeling in the interpretation, which comes across as clinical and analytical.
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