Copland Four Piano Blues – An American Recital – Live Recording 2018-08-22T21:31:23+00:00

Project Description

Copland & Gershwin

An American Recital

  • Copland – Four Piano Blues

  • Copland – Sonata

  • Gershwin – 3 Preludes

  • Gershwin – Songs

  • Gershwin – An American in Paris

  • Released on March 23, 1999

  • Label: Nimbus Records

  • Artist: Mark Anderson

  • Genre: Classical

  • Catalogue No. NI5585

Julius Röntgen (1855-1932) was both a composer and a gifted pianist who composed more than 600 compositions. Recent renewed interest in Röntgen has revealed many treasures still waiting to be awakened in the Röntgen Archives (Den Haag, Netherlands). Alongside a huge series of unknown string quartets, string trios, piano trios and symphonies there are some thirty piano sonatas and numerous other works for piano from 1922-1932 alone. Röntgen started and ended his creative life as a piano composer.


‘Mark Anderson plays Copland to the manner born. His granitic sonority, propulsive rhythm, and lyrical reserve are exactly what this music needs, from the wistful Four Piano Blues, to the terse grandeur characterizing the Sonata’s outer movements. Anderson’s Gershwin, though, is another story. He fusses and musses with the rhythms to the point where the composer’s trademark syncopations hardly register on the “swing” scale. As a result, the phrasing and accentuation of the tunes are thrown askew. Try to sing along with Anderson, and you’re guaranteed to have a hard time. Stick with Richard Rodney Bennett or Dick Hyman for the Songbook, and Earl Wild’s debonair Preludes. Nimbus’ soft-focus, resonant sonics will not appeal to all listeners, but Mark Anderson’s virile Copland holds its own with Leo Smit’s composer-supervised survey of the piano music.’

– Jed Distler,  Classics Today (.com)

‘Mark Anderson brings a compelling grandeur and eloquent fervour to Copland’s imposing Sonata of 1939-41 (apparently Leonard Bernstein’s favourite work), achieving a splendid concentration and unforced gravitas in the riveting concluding Andante sostenuto in particular.’

‘…the sound is eminently truthful and the audience impeccably behaved (and, I should add, rightly appreciative).’

– Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone