Roger Reynolds - Epigram and Evolution: Complete Piano Works

Roger Reynolds

 mode 212/213
 (2-CDs, specially priced)


Mode Records - A Record Label Devoted to New Music
  • Fantasy for Pianist



  • imAge/piano


    first recording 6:56

  • Yuji Takahashi,


  • Epigram and Evolution



  • Variation



  • imagE/piano


    first recording 3:33

  • Eric Huebner,


  • Traces

    (1968) 21:28
  • Yuji Takahashi,


    Karen Reynolds,


    Lin Barron,


    Allan Johnson,

    live electronics.

  • Less Than Two

    (1978) for 2 pianos, 2 percussionists and tape 20:47
  • Jean-Charles François and Delores Stevens,


    Daniel Dunbar and Daryl Pratt,


  • The Angel of Death

    (1998-2001) for piano, chamber orchestra & computer processed sound 35:07
  • Marilyn Nonken,


    The Slee Sinfonietta, Magnus Martensson, conductor.

    These piano pieces were written at every turning point in Roger Reynolds' creative life, marking his evolution. The music is driven by relentless attacks toward catharsis, but also bittersweet chords, and trembling, rolling, wandering or sweeping masses of sound. We feel as though we are being pushed around by forces beyond human imagination. This sense of being carried away by an uninterrupted undercurrent may be the image of the world we live in.

    The featured pianists are the legendary Yuji Takahashi (who also contributed a rare new recording for the set), and contemporary music specialists Eric Huebner and Marilyn Nonken.

    This specially priced 2-CD set combines new recordings with reissues of classic analog performances, newly transferred from the analog tapes and remastered for this release.

    Epigram and Evolution, Reynolds' earliest piano work was premiered at the ONCE Festival in Ann Arbor by Robert Ashley.

    Reynolds moved to Europe in 1963, and Fantasy for Pianist marks the change of intellectual climate. Premiered at the Warsaw Autumn Festival by John Tilbury, it begins with a chordal whirlwind over explosive blasts, leading to 'asynchronous tapping, resonance, and whirls. Experimental ways of playing are applied on the piano strings: plucking with a pick, wound string rasps, and harmonics produced by touching nodes on the struck strings.

    Traces uses six loudspeakers surrounding the audience with amplified instruments and ring-modulated resonances. The piano part is is "traced" by a flute and cello involving timbre manipulation, with electronic shadows over them.

    Less Than Two was written for pianists Gilbert Kalish and James Freeman, and percussionists Ray DesRoches and Richard Fitz, as a companion piece for George Crumb's Makrokosmos III (Music for a Summer Evening). It was premiered, along with the Crumb piece, at The Library of Congress in 1979.

    Reynolds' architectural complexity culminates in Variation: a single movement following a preliminary graphic scheme, it allows room for playful and expressive flexibility left to the performer. It was premiered by Aleck Karis.

    imagE/piano and imAge/piano are a part of recent project of writing pairs of short, complementary pieces for different instruments. The E in imagE stands for "evocative" and A in imAge for "articulate", involving a composing technique based on montage and editing.

    Liner notes by Yuji Takahashi.

    Related Resources:
    Roger Reynolds profile
    Yuji Takahashi profile
    Eric Huebner profile
    Marilyn Nonken profile
    Slee Sinfonietta profile
    SONOR profile
    Magnus Martensson profile

    Also by Roger Reynolds on Mode:
    Watershed IV (mode 70)
    Whispers Out of Time (Mode 183)
    Epigram and Evolution: Complete Piano Works (Mode 212/213)

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