American Modern Ensemble – Powerhouse Pianists

American Modern Ensemble
Stephen Gosling | Blair McMillen

Powerhouse Pianists
By American Modern Ensemble

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Powerhouse Pianists is the American Modern Ensemble's first recording on the AMR label and highlights two of its members, pianists Blair McMillen and Stephen Gosling. Hailed by critics as "Brilliant young stars...The dynamic duo of contemporary pianists" (The New York Times), this recording contains a selection of contemporary masterpieces by some of America's greatest composers.

Track List

  1. Piano Sonata - Chester Biscardi (Blair McMillen)

  2. Basic Training - Lee Hyla (Blair McMillen)

  3. Where Branched Thoughts Murmur in the Wind - Eric Moe (Blair McMillen)

  4. Brooklyn, October 5, 1941 - Annie Gosfield (Blair McMillen)

  5. Bagatelle - George Tsontakis (Stephen Gosling)

  6. Episodes for Piano - Perry Townsend (Stephen Gosling)

  7. Tango? - Conlon Nancarrow (Stephen Gosling)

  8. Or like... a an Engine - Joan Tower (Stephen Gosling)

  9. E-Machines - David Rakowski (Stephen Gosling)

  10. Five Etudes for Piano: I. Les Innocence - Mischa Zupko (Stephen Gosling)

  11. Five Etudes for Piano: II. Rain - Mischa Zupko II. Rain (Stephen Gosling)

  12. Five Etudes for Piano: III. Melt - Mischa Zupko III. Melt (Stephen Gosling)

  13. Five Etudes for Piano: IV. Papillons - Mischa Zupko IV. Papillons (Stephen Gosling)

  14. Five Etudes for Piano: V. Schizophrene - Mischa Zupko V. Schizophrene (Stephen Gosling)

Total Time: 77:45

Press Quotes

An eclectic program... McMillen offers a rarity right off the bat, with Chester Biscardi’s softly glittering Piano Sonata, then completely changes direction with Lee Hyla’s stark Basic Training and Eric Moe’s Where Branched Thoughts Murmur in the Wind, a brief, delicate essay. He ends with Brooklyn, October 5, 1941, Annie Gosfield’s striking tribute to the Brooklyn Dodgers (played with baseballs and a mitt), in an unusual set delivered with tautness and finesse. Gosling begins with George Tsontakis’s enigmatic Bagatelle, which at one point hovers over some very Brahmsian chords, followed by the darkly mysterious Episodes for Piano by Perry Townsend. Then Conlon Nancarrow bubbles into the mix with Tango?, brimming with wit. The cascade of notes continues with Joan Tower’s Or Like a... an Engine, its stammering title from a John Ashbery poem, and Gosling really floors the gas pedal for E-Machines, a hyperactive jolt by David Rakowski. Finally comes Five Études for Piano by Mischa Zupko, clearly influenced by Ligeti, and Gosling gives them a scientific accuracy, as if surveying their intricacies with a microscope. Engineer John Yannelli, capturing both pianists in the hall at Sarah Lawrence College, has given these dynamic artists a clear soundstage against which even the minutest details register in sharp focus.
— Bruce Hodges, The Juilliard Journal
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