William McNally | Chickens 'n' Kittens: A Ragtime Coup

Go To Artist Page

Recommended if You Like
Marc-André Hamelin Scott Joplin William Bolcom

Album Links
Rivermont Records Website

More Artists From
United States - Pennsylvania

Other Genres You Will Love
Classical: Piano solo Jazz: Ragtime Moods: Mood: Intellectual
Sell your music everywhere
There are no items in your wishlist.

Chickens 'n' Kittens: A Ragtime Coup

by William McNally

William McNally, a classically trained pianist with "great insight and sympathy," turns ragtime on its head in this eclectic new album featuring both classic rags and new tunes to be found nowhere else.
Genre: Classical: Piano solo
Release Date: 

We'll ship when it's back in stock

Order now and we'll ship when it's back in stock, or enter your email below to be notified when it's back in stock.
Continue Shopping
just a few left.
order now!
Buy 2 or more of this title's physical copies and get 30% off
Share to Google +1

To listen to tracks you will need to update your browser to a recent version.

  Song Share Time Download
1. Chicken Pie
4:15 album only
2. Sedalia Queen
3:46 album only
3. Rialto Ripples
3:33 album only
4. African Suite: I. High Hattin'
1:26 album only
5. African Suite: II. Kinda Careless
3:25 album only
6. African Suite: III. Mississippi Shivers
2:30 album only
7. Solace
5:55 album only
8. Fox-Trot
3:17 album only
9. Rag Infernal
2:19 album only
10. Kitten on the Keys
2:48 album only
11. Toccata sur la Shimmy Kitten on the Keys
2:28 album only
12. Blue Donkey Rag
4:16 album only
13. Carnival Music: V. Toccata-Rag
4:10 album only
14. Graceful Ghost Rag
5:46 album only
15. Humanitaur Rag
3:38 album only
16. Rag-Tango
6:55 album only
17. A Little Tango Rag
1:23 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Jack Rummel (of Ragtime Music Reviews) wrote this about Chickens 'n' Kittens:

In the face of the overwhelming pool of talent to be found in today’s ragtime community, successful performers almost need to find a niche or an untapped “angle” that they can explore and with which they may become identified. For his premiere CD, William McNally has chosen an esoteric and potentially risky area, namely excursions into ragtime by 20th Century classical composers. It is esoteric in that there isn’t a lot of material from which to draw, and it is risky in that audience acceptance cannot yet be predicted.

A classical piano prodigy who first performed in Carnegie Hall at age nine, McNally’s initial ragtime festival was the 2007 Old Time Piano Playing Contest in Peoria , IL , an event to which he returned in 2008 and won the new rag competition. Steeped in the sounds of modern classicism and perhaps haunted by the fear that he might accidentally play a boring passage, he gives dramatic and spirited performances throughout, turning every number into a virtuosic showpiece.

Chicken Pie (Clement Doucet) is sprightly and seems to cascade all over the keyboard and the expanded performance of Rialto Ripples (George Gershwin/Will Donaldson) even throws in a cadenza of Eubie-ism. African Suite (Zez Confrey) is three unique gems from the same musical milieu that produced Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and James P. Johnson’s Yamecraw. Fox-Trot (Pantcho Vladigueroff) becomes a show-stopper – brash, yet with melodic passages – and, despite its name, isn’t intended to be danced to; while Rag Infernal (William Bolcom) is an atonal study in perpetual motion with a relationship to ragtime that is unclear to this listener.

Toccata sur la Shimmy “Kitten on the Keys” (Erwin Schulhoff) is thoroughly 20th Century with hints of Confrey; Carnival Music (George Kochberg) jumps from being beautifully melodic into a speeding blur of dissonance. In Rag-Tango (Bolcom), incredibly beautiful passages lurk amid modern dissonances and A Little Tango Rag (Leopold Godowsky) is truly a little jewel and is far too short ( 1:23 ).

Interspersed among these is some out-and-out ragtime. Solace (Scott Joplin) is delicate with much rubato, Kitten on the Keys (Confrey) starts as per the score and then explodes, and Graceful Ghost (Bolcom) is a languid and welcome oasis of melody. Humanitaur Rag (Andrew Barrett) is modern and experimental, yet possessed of much lyricism, while McNally’s two originals offer poles-apart contrasts with Sedalia Queen being more nostalgic and Blue Donkey Rag being wild and dissonant.

The recording quality is exceptional and the performer’s liner notes magically seem to tie all these disparate pieces together. William McNally recognizes that this musical journey navigates uncharted and somewhat uncomfortable waters for many ragophiles and my hat is off to him for his embarkation and to Rivermont for its endorsement and classy presentation.



to write a review