Millennium Crossings: Piano Music, 1975-2000

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The last quarter of the twentieth century brought dramatic changes in musical discourse, most important among them the reappraisal of tonality as a necessary complement to atonality, and the adoption of older conventions that the avant-garde had rejected. Curt Cacioppo's Klavierstück (1975-1976) is clearly a product of the pointillism and gestural language of that time, but his Sonata trasfigurata (1986, revised 1994) is striking for its return to the rich chromatic language Berg would have recognized. Ingrid Arauco's Triptych (1987) hovers between tonality and a more ambiguous, Impressionistic chromaticism, and occasionally plays off Romantic piano styles, in honor of the work's recipient, George Rochberg. Flowing arpeggios, motivic sequences, and modified triads mark Marino Baratello's Klavierstück (1991) as both a rapprochement with the new tonality and a remembrance of Scriabin's textures and harmonies. The most noticeable differences of style and language may be heard in Joseph Hudson's rhapsodic but harmonically ambiguous Fantasy-Refrain II (1991), and his transparently tonal Piece for the Swans (2000), a contrast that makes the point of Millennium Crossings absolutely clear. Pianists Curt Cacioppo and Lisa Weiss are polished in their execution, consistently expressive in interpretation, and show a deep understanding and appreciation of these transitional works. Capstone's sound quality is fine.

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