The topic of composers at the keyboard is near and dear to The Classical Network’s Artist-in-Residence Jed Distler, who not only hosts and produces the ASCAP Deems Taylor Virgil Thomson Award winning program Between the Keys, but is a veteran composer/pianist in his own right.
“We tend to think of the composer/pianist tradition in terms of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt, ending in the early twentieth century with Rachmaninov, Prokofiev and Bartok,” says Distler. “But the truth is that it continues to thrive, and embraces many idioms. So for this episode, which is actually the second composer/pianist show we've had this year, I’ve tried hard to display a broad range of artists, along with a few rarities.”
One of the rarities is a recently discovered private recording of Rachmaninov casually demonstrating his newly composed Symphonic Dances, and playing with a relaxed freedom that often differs from his controlled studio recordings. Another is Stravinsky’s first solo piano recording, made in 1925 yet never released until just now.
Also featured are composer/pianists Frederic Rzewski, Pauline Alpert, Stanley Cowell, Jelly Roll Morton, Robert Muczynski, Camille Saint-Saëns, and Charles Ives boisterously singing “They Are There!” to his own accompaniment.
Tune in this Tuesday October 16th at 10 PM for Between the Keys, an exclusive production of The Classical Network and WWFM.org.