Blackwood Plays Blackwood
- CDR 90000 038
Cedille Selects tracks are designed to provide a representative overview of the album
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American composer and pianist Easley Blackwood continues to branch out in attractive new directions. On this CD, Blackwood Plays Blackwood, he performs world premiere recordings of his own recent piano compositions. Challenging to perform yet easy to listen to, these new works blend traditional forms with inventive harmonies.
A student of Nadia Boulanger, Olivier Messiaen, and Paul Hindemith (at Yale), Blackwood first garnered worldwide attention for his vigorous, modernist, highly original First Symphony, premiered in 1958 by conductor Charles Munch and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. As a pianist, he is cited in Baker's Biographical Dictionary Musicians "for his performances of modern works of transcendental difficulty." During most of his 40 years as a professor at the University of Chicago (1958-1997), he was an exponent of atonality. He came to embrace traditional tonality by way of his landmark study of microtonal music in the 1980s.
On this CD, the Indianapolis native performs five lyrical works for solo piano, completed between 1984 and 1996, including his first large-scale (28 minutes) composition for solo piano, the Sonata in F-sharp minor.