Lionel Nowak, Marc Peloquin & Claude Frank | Lionel Nowak: Music for Solo Piano 1942–91

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Lionel Nowak: Music for Solo Piano 1942–91

by Lionel Nowak, Marc Peloquin & Claude Frank

"Sudden intuition is molded into reasonable and auditory satisfaction. It is the sound properties that may shift from one era to another... Breadth, adventurous imagination and naturalness are present."
Genre: Classical: Piano solo
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Materialisms: I. Pentavariant
Marc Peloquin
3:23 album only
clip
2. Materialisms: II. Void
Marc Peloquin
1:48 album only
3. Materialisms: III. Chromantic
Marc Peloquin
2:04 album only
clip
4. Materialisms: IV. Intermezzo
Marc Peloquin
1:21 album only
clip
5. Materialisms: V. Distroit
Marc Peloquin
0:47 album only
clip
6. Four in a Row (Easy Pieces On the Twelve Tones): I. Walk in the Wood
Marc Peloquin
0:57 album only
clip
7. Four in a Row (Easy Pieces On the Twelve Tones): II. Angry Dancer
Marc Peloquin
0:19 album only
clip
8. Four in a Row (Easy Pieces On the Twelve Tones): III. Foggy Day
Marc Peloquin
1:28 album only
clip
9. Four in a Row (Easy Pieces On the Twelve Tones): IV. Clown
Marc Peloquin
0:26 album only
clip
10. Suite for Days Remembered: I. Prelude
Marc Peloquin
1:13 album only
clip
11. Suite for Days Remembered: II. March
Marc Peloquin
0:40 album only
clip
12. Suite for Days Remembered: III. Lullaby
Marc Peloquin
1:37 album only
13. Suite for Days Remembered: IV. Dance
Marc Peloquin
0:40 album only
clip
14. Suite for Days Remembered: V. Dirge
Marc Peloquin
1:48 album only
clip
15. Suite for Days Remembered: VI. Celebration
Marc Peloquin
1:03 album only
clip
16. Six Pieces for Young Musicians: I. An Introduction
Marc Peloquin
0:45 album only
clip
17. Six Pieces for Young Musicians: II. A March
Marc Peloquin
1:09 album only
clip
18. Six Pieces for Young Musicians: III. A Thought
Marc Peloquin
1:09 album only
clip
19. Six Pieces for Young Musicians: IV. A Song
Marc Peloquin
0:45 album only
clip
20. Six Pieces for Young Musicians: V. A Dance
Marc Peloquin
0:46 album only
clip
21. Six Pieces for Young Musicians: VI. A Conclusion
Marc Peloquin
1:38 album only
clip
22. Three Bagatelles for Piano: I.
Marc Peloquin
0:59 album only
clip
23. Three Bagatelles for Piano: II.
Marc Peloquin
0:53 album only
clip
24. Three Bagatelles for Piano: III.
Marc Peloquin
1:09 album only
clip
25. Etude for Piano
Marc Peloquin
1:55 album only
clip
26. Two Problems - Problem No. 1 for Piano
Marc Peloquin
3:10 album only
clip
27. Two Problems - Problem No. 2 for Piano
Marc Peloquin
2:21 album only
clip
28. Nocturne and Toccata: I. Nocturne
Marc Peloquin
4:36 album only
29. Nocturne and Toccata: II. Toccata
Marc Peloquin
3:58 album only
clip
30. Sonatina for Piano: I. (Live)
Claude Frank
2:26 album only
clip
31. Sonatina for Piano: II. (Live)
Claude Frank
2:23 album only
clip
32. Sonatina for Piano: III. (Live)
Claude Frank
1:54 album only
clip
33. Four Pages from a Musical Diary: I. (Live)
Claude Frank
1:50 album only
clip
34. Four Pages from a Musical Diary: II. (Live)
Claude Frank
1:50 album only
clip
35. Four Pages from a Musical Diary: III. (Live)
Claude Frank
1:17 album only
clip
36. Four Pages from a Musical Diary: IV. (Live)
Claude Frank
3:11 album only
clip
37. Fantasia (Live)
Allen Shawn
6:40 album only
clip
38. Album Leaf (Live)
Allen Shawn
2:02 album only
clip
39. Capriccio (Live)
Allen Shawn
4:26 album only
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40. Proposition (Live)
Allen Shawn
4:31 album only
clip
41. Praeludium for Piano (Live)
Lionel Nowak
5:08 album only
clip
42. Two Phantasms: I. (Live)
Lionel Nowak
2:18 album only
clip
43. Two Phantasms: II. (Live)
Lionel Nowak
2:43 album only
clip
44. Practice Piece for Piano Right Hand
Lionel Nowak
2:31 album only
clip
45. Two Problems: I. (Live)
Lionel Nowak
3:20 album only
clip
46. Two Problems: II. A (Live)
Lionel Nowak
1:25 album only
clip
47. Two Problems: II. B (Live)
Lionel Nowak
2:31 album only
clip
48. Two Problems: II. C (Live)
Lionel Nowak
1:21 album only
clip
49. Soundscape for Piano (Live)
Lionel Nowak
10:50 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Allen Shawn on Lionel Nowak: “He played an outdoor, not an indoor piano. There wasn’t a hint of the museum about it. Even when most quiet, his sound seemed to ring out, not just into the hall, but into nature itself. Breadth, adventurous imagination and naturalness are present in all of Lionel’s music. It can be wondrously simple and telling, enchantingly lyrical, hard as nails, or disturbingly dark, but his work always gives the sense that the musical ideas themselves are forming the shape of the piece. His compositions are musically compelling adventures, and whether large or small, they are always fresh, unpredictable and rooted in a love of sound.”

“There can be no present without precedents; the weighing and balancing of these are the new, along with the fanciful extrapolation which may occur as sudden intuition is molded into reasonable and auditory satisfaction. It is the sound properties that may shift from one era to another….” - Lionel Nowak

Composer-pianist Lionel Nowak (1911-1995) was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He made his debut as a pianist at the age of four and at 12 years old became the youngest pianist to solo with the Cleveland Orchestra. As a teenager he was organist, choir-master and composer of anthems. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied theory and composition with Roger Sessions, Quincy Porter and Herbert Elwell. His piano teachers included Beryl Rubinstein and Edwin Fischer. In 1988 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Institute.

From 1938 to 1942 he was music director and composer-pianist for the Doris Humphrey-Charles Weidman Modern Dance Company in New York City; he wrote several large ballets for the company (and one for José Limon.) He was on the music faculties of Converse College and Syracuse University in the mid-1940s and then settled permanently in Bennington, Vermont. He taught at Bennington College for forty-five years. From 1946 to 1963 he toured nationally for the Association of American Colleges’ Arts Program. From 1950-1963 he was on the staff of the Bennington Composers Conference and later served at various times as Chairman of the Board, Music Director and Senior Composer (1970s-80s) of the Chamber Music Conference and Composers Forum of the East.

As an educator, he served on the steering committee of the Yale Seminar on Music Education and was consultant for the Manhattanville Music Curriculum Project. At Bennington College he was Director of Development and Dean of Faculty from 1972 to 1975. He was a trustee of the Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences and president from 1975-77. In 1980 he was awarded a citation by the Vermont Council on the Arts.

He composed over 150 works from solos and concertos to song cycles and chamber music. His works have been recorded on CRI, Golden Crest and Opus One, and are available through the American Composers Alliance (BMI) (composers.com.)

“It is possible that some kind of rhythmic dynamism accrued from the work with the dance…. a striving for rhythmic variety and forward motion.” - Lionel Nowak

Claude Frank on Lionel Nowak: “He was like an older brother to me…I sought his advice constantly, on musical and other matters. The speed of his mind was outstanding and came out in everything he did. He was an impassioned musician who nevertheless didn’t lose track of music’s place in a larger spiritual world.”

Virgil Thomson on Lionel Nowak: “Intellectual assurance and full command of sonorous resources mark all his work…admirably composed for their instruments. They ‘sound’ as musicians would say. They are also notable throughout for their intrinsic beauty of the musical materials and for the elegance of their harmony..”

Marc Peloquin on Lionel Nowak: “Among the performers on this recording, I am the only one who never knew Lionel Nowak. I have had the unique and immensely gratifying experience of making his acquaintance by way of his piano music. In these pieces I have experienced a composer of beautiful structures who combines lines of deep expression with phrases of fantastic wit. I am honored to share this project with the great pianists represented, including Lionel himself. I know this music will live on and be cherished by many musicians and music lovers.”

Track notes by Lionel Nowak:

“The Praeludium, written in 1963, was conceived as a broad opening statement for a recital; change in texture is presented in blocks, there is little sense of development, little intimacy or subtlety.”

Practice Piece for Piano Right Hand:
“Shortly after my stroke in spring, 1980, several composer friends signaled their sympathy by sending serious new scores for right hand alone. It occurred to me that certain finger and arm techniques were not in evidence, so I decided to construct a piece for myself which could extend muscular facility by daily practice as warm up. It has since served well in programming….”

“Two Phantasms (1946) are in the tradition of the intermezzi of Schumann and Brahms with an obvious assist from Prokofiev.”

“Soundscape for Piano was commissioned by Converse College in 1964 as part of the celebration of its 75th anniversary.
The composition was meant to challenge the skills and imagination of the talented students who study at the School of Music. The title is meant to suggest a panorama of sound textures and instrumental techniques which eventuate in something like the jagged outline of a city – skyscrapes, tenements, parks and hub-bub.”

Artist bio for pianist Marc Peloquin;
A New York Times critic has written of pianist Marc Peloquin, “[his] energetic approach yielded a performance that was refreshing and alive. Individual lines rang out with remarkable definition and clarity.” Called an “innovator ivory tickler” by TimeOut New York, Peloquin has appeared in a wide range of venues from MoMA, the Guggenheim Museum, the Look
& Listen Festival and Bargemusic in New York City, to the Bush Center in Dallas, Palacio de Belles Artes in Mexico City, the American Academy in Rome, the Darmstadt International Festival in Germany and the Cultural Center of Roubaix, France.
Marc Peloquin is the creator, curator, pianist and host of the Keyed Up Music Project, a New York City concert series established in 2010, which explores the unique sound worlds of composers, their influences and those they have influenced.
He also has a long-standing piano partnership with Roberto Hidalgo as the Split Second Piano Ensemble. In addition, Peloquin collaborates with the Pulitzer Prize winning American composer/pianist David Del Tredici.

July 2012 saw the release on Naxos of Gotham Glory, the first in a series of four recordings by Peloquin of the complete piano works of the legendary composer. Gramophone’s review of the disc stated, “a long time Del Tredici champion and associate, Peloquin imbues these composer – supervised performances with idiomatic aplomb and a powerful yet flexible technique.”

Peloquin’s other recordings include the solo piano works of Otto Luening (CRI), works by Chester Biscardi (Naxos) and the songs of Samuel Barber with soprano Melissa Fogarty (Aureole label.) He resides in New York, is on the faculty of the New School University and is a resident teaching artist at the Bloomingdale School of Music.

Pianist Claude Frank (1925-2014) born in Nuremberg, Germany, abandoned Nazi Germany in 1937 and went to France, where he studied at the Paris Conservatory. Fleeing France before the advancing German armies in 1940, he went first to Spain then to Portugal, before ultimately settling in America, where he became a citizen in 1944. He studied piano – interrupted by a term of military service – with Artur Schnabel in New York City and had his recital debut at New York’s Town Hall in 1947. He performed with the NBC Symphony Orchestra in 1948 and had his New York Philharmonic debut under
conductor Leonard Bernstein in 1959. He appeared with most of the world’s major orchestras, including the Boston, Chicago, National, and Buenos Aires Symphonies, the New York and Berlin Philharmonics, and the Concertgebouw
Orchestra of Amsterdam. Mr. Frank was an influential teacher, first at Bennington College (1945-49) and later at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Yale School of Music. He toured and participated in major music festivals all over the world: in
the Americas and in Europe, in Africa and in Asia. His enduring involvement with the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center in New York is legendary, and in the summer of 2005 he served as a distinguished faculty member at
the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. A Beethoven specialist, Mr. Frank was always admired as a superb chamber musician,
from the time of his first performances with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players in the 1960s to his frequent appearances with various string quartets, the Juilliard and Guarneri Quartets included. He performed regularly with his
wife, pianist Lilian Kallir, in duo-piano concerts, and with his daughter, violinist Pamela Frank. The recordings of Claude Frank include: Beethoven: The Piano Sonatas; Claude Frank: 85th Birthday Celebration CD; Beethoven: 10 Sonatas for Violin
and Piano (with Pamela Frank); and Schubert: Works for Violin and Piano (with Pamela Frank).

Composer and pianist Allen Shawn (born 1948) grew up in New York City in a literary environment. He started composing music at the age of 10. He studied composition with Leon Kirchner and Earl Kim at Harvard University; with Nadia Boulanger for two years in Paris; and with Jack Beeson at Columbia University, from which he received a Masters Degree. Since 1985 he has lived in Vermont and been on the music faculty of Bennington College. In his early years at the college he particularly cherished his friendship with Lionel Nowak, whose music, pianism and personality were a great inspiration to him. Among Shawn’s list of works as of 2015 are a dozen orchestral pieces, including a Symphony, two Piano Concertos, a Violin Concerto, and a Cello Concerto; five Piano Sonatas and many additional piano pieces, including several for piano four-hands and two pianos; much chamber music; vocal music; and three chamber operas. His recordings include numerous chamber music CDs; four volumes of piano music, including a recent CD devoted to his work by
the German pianist, Julia Bartha; his Piano Concerto performed by Ursula Oppens with the Albany Symphony, conducted by David Allen Miller; and his chamber opera, The Music Teacher, to a libretto by his brother Wallace, on Bridge Records. He is also the author of four books: Arnold Schoenberg’s Journey (2002); Wish I Could Be There (2007); Twin (2011); and Leonard
Bernstein- An American Musician (2014). Shawn has received a Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American
Academy of Arts and Letters, and an Academy Award for his music from the same institution.


Special Thanks to:

- The Estate of Jean Block
- Gina Genova
- Susan Reiss, Bennington College
- Bennington Museum
- Marc Peloquin
- Allen Shawn
- Pamela Frank
- The Family of Paul Feeley
- Michael Finckel
- Tom Fels
- Shirley Brodsky
- Laura Nowak
- Laura Keanon
- Philip Wharton
- Robert Cane


CD Editor and Master Engineer: Ryan Streber ---- CD and Graphic Design: Jessica Slaven
Producer: Alison Nowak ---- Piano Technician, CD I: Dan Jessie
Cover: 1962 Paul Feeley Metapa (photo: Hank Boldrick)
A new collection of sheet music for piano with the works heard on these recordings is now available from
the American Composers Alliance (BMI), in both print and digital editions (www.composers.com)

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