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d.u.o | American Piano Duets

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Classical: Keyboard Music Classical: Contemporary Moods: Featuring Piano
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American Piano Duets

by d.u.o

American Classical Music: it's not pretty, it's not soothing. It's not meant to be. It's sarcastic, it's violent, it's poignant, picturesque and sometimes tragically naive.
Genre: Classical: Keyboard Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Allegro Impetuoso
2:58 album only
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2. Andante con Cozyta
3:57 album only
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3. Presto Obsessto
2:04 album only
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4. Follow the Drinking Gourd
2:48 album only
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5. The New River Train
3:15 album only
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6. Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier
5:30 album only
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7. Two in One:Old Joe Clark and Sourwood Mountain
4:02 album only
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8. Moderato
3:36 album only
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9. Moderato
3:43 album only
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10. Allegro Moderato
1:28 album only
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11. Allegretto
3:11 album only
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12. Moderato
3:13 album only
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13. Presto (1992)
3:52 album only

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Go to Alitisa.com for juicy reviews (don't miss Jim Choban's review!)

d.u.o: American Piano Duets Track Listing
d.u.o artists: Maria Choba and Kenn Willson

Sonata Innamorata S.1+1 (1987) by PDQ Bach (8:58)

1. Allegro Impetuoso
2. Andante con Cozyta
3. Presto Obsessto

Four Fantasies on American Folk Songs op. 4, nos 1-4 (1960) by Douglas Townsend Publisher: Peters Edition, No. 6040 (15:34)

4. Follow the Drinking Gourd
5. The New River Train
6. Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier
7. Two in One: Old Joe Clark and Sourwood Mountain

Fughettas op. 12 (1955-56) by Tomas Svoboda Publisher: Thomas C. Stangland Co., TCS-87 (8:44)

8. Moderato
9. Moderato
10. Allegro Moderato

Suite op. 124 (1985-86) by Tomas Svoboda (10:17) Publisher: Thomas C. Stangland Co., TCS-20

11. Allegretto
12. Moderato
13. Presto

American Piano Duets
by Ivory Crush (formally d.u.o.)

Kenn Willson pianist:

There once was a Montana lad growing up in the town of Big Timber, near the Yellowstone Valley, who taught himself to read music when he was six. Kenn spent four years playing piano on his own before a teacher was finally corralled to begin his formal training. He took well to instruction and in due time moved to Oregon to pick up first his BA and then his Master of Music degree in Piano Performance. His thirst for education still unquenched, Willson ventured off to the University of Northern Colorado for a Doctor of Arts degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy. He employs the latter skill as Associate Professor of Music at George Fox University, the former as keyboardist for Southminster Presbyterian Church, and in concerts and recordings as the starting right tackle of the piano duo Ivory Crush. Willson has won acclaim for his digital command, his versatility, his teamwork, and his sense of humor.
(Written by David Maclaine)

Maria Choban pianist:

Maria was born in Oregon to Greek parents. She began picking out tunes on a toy piano at age three, started formal lessons at age 6 and was winning competitions by her teens. She was a founding member of the iconoclastic trio St. Elvis. In 1996 she won fellowships for a research trip to Greece, the fruits of which have been the creation of The Greek Music Project for her Alitisa/Fireflight label which released her solo recording, Greek Rapture, featuring music by Kalomiris, Papaioannou, and Hadjidakis.
(Written by David Maclaine)


About Ivory Crush:

Ivory Crush is the team of pianists Kenn Willson and Maria Choban. whose goal is to rescue music for four hands, whether on one piano or two, from its status as a sadly neglected step-child. Ivory Crush aims to bring a wider audience to music that, can still, under the right twenty fingers, astonish, rouse, and delight.
(Written by David Maclaine)


Composer Information

P.D.Q. Bach (1935-):

Who is this twenty-first son of Bach and what about the nut who cracked him? The music of P.D.Q. Bach was first discovered by Professor Peter Schickele in 1954 who, while "rummaging around a Bavarian castle in search of rare musical gems, happened instead upon the original manuscript of a Sanka Cantata by P.D.Q. Bach." It is Schickele's contention that the "conspiracy of silence" surrounding P.D.Q. Bach began with his parents who "ignored him completely. The more he wrote, the more unknown he became. He finally attained total obscurity at the time of his death."
Peter Schickele is to P.D.Q. Bach and his manuscripts what Mendelssohn was to the Senior Bach and his "St. John's Passion" - one who resurrects. P.D.Q. Bach's "musical output would probably have followed him into oblivion had it not been for the zealous efforts of Prof. Schickele."
Born on July 17, 1935 in Ames, Iowa, Schickele is an eminently gifted musicologist as is evidenced by the P.D.Q. Bach discovery. He is also a serious composer having written music for orchestra, chorus, chamber and jazz ensembles, and film. His early musical influences included "the music of Hindemith, Bartok, Stravinsky, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, and the Everly Brothers - especially Stravinsky and the Everly Brothers." The "Sonata Innamorata," according to Schickele, "is the only piece of music known to have been commissioned by Casanova, who presumably used it to help fulfill his motto, 'Seductio ad absurdum.'"

Tomas Svoboda (1939-):

Tomas Svoboda: "I am NOT a minimalist, as some critics and reviewers have indicated! Newspaper and media writers are not reliable, they twist what you say! This discussion about my composing characteristics and education reminds me of my early thinking about the Unison Symphony #5. My wife and I were driving to the coast and I kept seeing a white dot in the road. I approached it and discovered it was a butterfly, but I ran over it - one beautiful piece of nature killed by my ugly car! This image gave me the entire fifth symphony. I conceived the work in a few seconds, but it took me nine months to write it.The underlying concept is that there is one symbol, one voice growing inside each person."
Tomas Svoboda was born to Milda and Antonin Svoboda on December 6, 1939 in Paris, France. Svoboda was born at a time when his parents were fleeing German bombs. The family traveled south to Marseilles and stayed there for two months. It was here that Svoboda heard Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" for the first time -he would stop crying and begin to swing and bang his head on his crib in time to the beat. When Svoboda was a year old, his father left for a position in the United States. Svoboda and his mother stayed behind in Lisbon. The Svobodas returned to Prague in 1945 and stayed until 1965, living with Tomas' father's parents.
Svoboda entered the Prague Conservatory in 1954 as its youngest student being only 15 years old. At 16 he had written and had his first symphony op. 20 (Of Nature) performed by the Prague Symphony to rave reviews. Svoboda graduated from the Conservatory in 1962 with degrees in percussion, composition, and conducting. Svoboda entered the Academy of Music in Prague in 1962 to concentrate further on his composition studies. He had almost 40 works in his catalogue by that time. Svoboda and his family escaped from Czechoslovakia in 1964, settling in Phoenix, Arizona.
In 1966 Svoboda entered the University of Southern California as a graduate student in composition. Here he studied with Ingolf Dahl and Halsey Stevens. Stevens has written concerning Svoboda "It was almost embarrassing to have him come to lessons with work so completely and satisfactorily realized that it needed almost nothing in the way of criticism." Svoboda received a Master's degree in 1969 from the University of Southern California and accepted a position at Portland State University where he teaches composition, percussion and music theory.
Svoboda's contributions to music literature include symphonies, instrumental solos, concertos, chamber works, piano solos and duos, vocal solos and choral works. Svoboda has had works performed at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, as well as on National Public Radio's "Performance Today" and PBS Television.
(From Kenn Willson's dissertation on The Piano Duets of Tomas Svoboda, 1998).

Douglas Townsend (1921-):

Douglas Townsend's "Autobiographical Sketch" (Musical Heritage Review, v.2 no.8) reveals himself as an artist aware of his lack of formal education in music. Good humor and acceptance rather than self-deprecation emerge from this sketch (written in third person): "Although he left [SUNY] after two years and did not receive a degree, he did get a wife... and eventually three children - possibly the best of his compositions to date."
Townsend was born in New York City in 1921. The litany of odd jobs he held after highschool graduation should arouse even the sleepiest of would be musicians to awaken from their dreams to a future in music. After more than twenty years of experience that included part-time college teaching, Townsend served as editor for the Musical Heritage Review from 1977 - 1980. This allowed him to explore subjects in the field of music and gave him a forum for his findings. In one editorial he offers a succinct history of the piano duet, including such interesting tidbits as "...Schubert wrote more music for piano duet than he did for piano solo, omitting the dances." In another, "Some Thoughts About Contemporary Music", he supports obvious statements with quotes -- many of them humorous and strangely current sounding, as though they had appeared yesterday in The New York Times. For example, in 1793 an anonymous critic had written, "Mozart was a great genius, but he had no real taste, and little or perhaps no cultivated taste. He missed, of course, any effect in his original operas."
Townsend's refreshing charm, candor and substance is equally evident in his piano duet "Four Fantasies on American Folk Songs." Not to be missed is the simple tragedy of "Johnny has gone for a Soldier" - the third Fantasy - or the musical spat between the pianists in the fourth Fantasy. (Musical Heritage Review v.2 no.8; MHR v.2 no.9; MHR v.2 no.14)

Remember - go to Alitisa.com for juicy juicy reviews (search for Jim Choban's!)

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