Steven Christopher Sacco & David Oei | Book of Whimsy

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Book of Whimsy

by Steven Christopher Sacco & David Oei

Book of Whimsy is a series of dedications to pianists for whom the composer has great respect, including William Komaiko, Bill Evans, Ahmad Jamal, and more.
Genre: Classical: Piano solo
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Book of Whimsy
Steven Christopher Sacco & David Oei
14:44 $2.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Book of Whimsy is a series of dedications to pianists whose influence upon me was formative. In total, it is organized in three folios of six pieces each. I stopped at 18 due to sheer exhaustion.

This recording, played by pianist David Oei, is a selection of pieces from each of the three sections in a single track of nearly 15 minutes duration.

The first folio comprises the briefest pieces --- in the second folio the pieces become longer and more intricate, and, in the third folio, they extend into even longer pieces with a greater depth of form.

Many of these pieces are about a singular idea. A simple example is found in the very first piece. You hear a constant rhythmic figure of six eighth notes followed by a dotted eighth and a sixteenth. Integrated into this pattern is the narrative of the piece, which unfolds with a singer’s sense of song. Many of the pieces fit similar profiles, though some of the later pieces take a more expanded approach. Book of Whimsy is a tribute to those pianists to whom I owe a significant debt of gratitude. (Steven Sacco)

Selections from
David Oei, piano

Selections from folio I:

ONE - Andante rubato: C major.....for William Komaiko
TWO - Allegro furioso: A minor.....for William Komaiko
THREE - Allegretto poco piu: G major.....for Nathan Buckner
FIVE - Andante con moto: F# minor.....for William Komaiko
SIX - Andante poco agitato: F major.....for Nathan Buckner

Selections from folio II:

NINE - Moderato con moto: Eb major.....In memoriam Bill Evans
TWELVE - Allegro con fuoco: Bb Major.....In memoriam Rebecca La Brecque

Selections from folio III:

FIFTEEN - Adagio: Gb major.....for Ahmad Jamal
SIXTEEN - Presto: E minor.....for Mike Nock
EIGHTEEN - Andante rubato: C Major.....for Alexandra Eames

Title: Steven Christopher Sacco, Book of Whimsy, for piano solo
Featured Artist: David Oei, piano
Writer: Steven Christopher Sacco, composer
Publisher: American Composers Edition (BMI)
Produced by: Steven Christopher Sacco
Recorded by: Joseph Patrych, Patrych Sound Studios, Bronx, NY
Edited and Mastered by: Joseph Patrych and Steven Christopher Sacco
Executive Producer: Gina Genova


The American composer Steven Sacco was born in Brooklyn, New York. His work is performed internationally by some of today’s leading soloists and ensembles. Critics praise him for writing “absorbing, poetic and passionate music that easily engages the sympathies and attention of a concert audience.” Highlights from past performances include: American Brass Quintet, Aspen Summer Music Festival, Australian Brass Quintet, Czech Nonet, Deal Summer Music Festival (UK), Juliana Gondek, Steven Isserlis, The Juilliard School, Speculum Musicae, Tanglewood Summer Music Festival, The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” among others.

Sacco teaches composition at Mannes in New York City. He holds a doctorate from Columbia University, a M.F.A. from Princeton University, and a bachelor’s degree from the Juilliard School. Audio recordings of his work are available on the Summit and Navona labels. His music is published by American Composers Edition (BMI) and Hickman Music Editions. He resides with his wife and two children in New Jersey.

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Pianist David Oei was a soloist with the Hong Kong Philharmonic at the age of nine and has since performed with major orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore Symphonies. Mr. Oei is the winner of five Interlochen Concerto Competitions and the Concert Artists Guild, WQXR Young Artists, Young Musicians Foundation and Paul Ulanowsky Chamber Pianists Awards. A perennial fixture on the New York City chamber music scene he has made guest appearances with the Audubon Quartet, Claring Chamber Players, Da Capo Chamber Players, New York Philharmonic Ensembles, St. Luke's and Orpheus Chamber Ensembles and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In recent years he performed the Mozart Concerto No. 20, Brahms Concertos No.1 & No. 2, and Beethoven Concerto No.3 with the Strathmere Festival Orchestra and the Schnittke Concerto with the Washington Square Festival Orchestra.

Founding director of the Salon Chamber Soloists and a founding member of the Aspen Soloists and the Intimate P.D.Q. Bach he is also currently a member of the Elysium Chamber Ensemble, Festival Chamber Music, Washington Square Festival Chamber Ensemble, the LED Trio and the HD Duo with pianist Helene Jeanney, besides enjoying a longtime collaboration with violinist Chin Kim and a new duo with violinist Kinga Augustyn. A former regular artist at Bargemusic and Chamber Music Northwest he has performed at various festivals including Caramoor, Sitka, Bard, Gretna, Seattle, Chestnut Hill, Dobbs Ferry, OK Mozart, Washington Square and Kuhmo.

His television credits include Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts, CBS News Sunday Morning and the Today Show. He has recorded a wide range of chamber works for Delos, ADDA, Vanguard, CRI, Pro Arte, Arabesque, Albany, Grenadilla and New World Records. Mr. Oei was the Music Director and Production Advisor for Music-Theatre Group's productions of Stanley Silverman and Richard Foreman's Africanis Instructus and Love and Science. He was also the Music Director for the Sundance Theater Workshop production of the Wallace/Foreman opera Yiddisher Teddy Bears. In the summer of '07 he conducted the Washington Square Festival Chamber Orchestra in a Gershwin/Weill concert titled Music as Political Statement and he recorded the Strauss and Rachmaninoff Sonatas for cello and piano with Ruth Sommers to help launch the Festival Chamber Music label using CD-60, the Steinway Grand featured in James Barron's bestseller Piano. A very special project was his recording with Lutz Rath of The Lay of Love and Death of the Cornet Christoph Rilke by Viktor Ullmann for piano and speaker. In 2010 he released his first duo CD with violinist Eriko Sato titled Five Not-So-Easy Pieces on his new label Prestissimo. He's currently recording a CD with his frequent duo partner violinist Kinga Augustyn and will soon be releasing a solo CD of Steven Christopher Sacco's Book of Whimsy for the American Composers Alliance.

A former Volunteers Coordinator and Head Coach for Manhattan Special Olympics and a former longtime faculty of Summertrios, Hoff-Barthelson Music School and the Mannes College of Music, Mr. Oei is a faculty member of the Bennington Chamber Music Conference and the Alaria Chamber Music Program. He is a member of the Alaria Chamber Ensemble, which has presented an annual Weill Recital Hall series for over three decades. In the summer of '14 he served as the director of the Smalls Chamber Music Salon at the Smalls Jazz Club and is currently the director of the Mezzrow Classical Salon, a monthly chamber music series at Mezzrow, recently voted "Best Jazz Classical Salon, a monthly chamber music series at Mezzrow, recently voted "Best Jazz Club 2015" by the Village Voice. An artist of the New York Classical Music Society he's also the recipient of its 2017 Citation of Honor for his work with the Mezzrow series. Mr. Oei lives in New York City with his wife, violinist Eriko Sato, and their pit bull Marian.

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