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Easley Blackwood Chamber Music
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Easley Blackwood Chamber Music
Easley Blackwood, piano
Charles Pikler, violin & viola
Gary Stucka, cello
Cedille Records CDR 90000 081
Release date: April 2005

"Nothing here is less than thrilling, and the playing is spectacular. Highly recommended to all collections." (CD Hotlist)

"[Blackwood is] one of the truly great living American pianist-composers." (Fanfare)

The compositions on this recording span nearly fifty years - from Op. 1 (1953), Op. 7 (1960), and Op. 22 (1968), through Op. 43 (2001).

They exhibit a wide variety of styles. It is interesting to reflect for a moment on the stylistic evolutions of other composers. Some find a particular style early on and maintain it throughout their lives - a category that includes Johannes Brahms and Frédéric Chopin. Others gradually evolve from one style to another that is totally different, usually going from conservative to radical. Alexander Scriabin and Elliott Carter are examples. Finally, there are composers who write in a variety of styles, some of which are surprisingly different in nature -- Béla Bartók and Igor Stravinsky immediately come to mind. I believe I fall into this latter category. At present, I feel comfortable writing in just about any idiom; and when a new work is requested, I ask what style is desired....

....Participating as a pianist in this recording, and thus gaining an overview of my compositions, has been a revealing experience. It was also enlightening to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Mr. Pikler and Mr. Stucka, who are both fine musicians and dedicated perfectionists.

Easley Blackwood
Click here to download the CD booklet.

Click the Cedille Player at the upper left to hear excerpts from the tracks highlighted in red below. These have been carefully chosen as representative of the recording program.

PROGRAM (71:48)

Easley Blackwood (b. 1933)

Second Viola Sonata, Op. 43* (2001) (24:09)
1 I. Andantino con moto (6:35)
2 II. Allegro capriccioso (3:58)
3 III. Vivace (4:07)
4 IV. Adagio (4:02)
5 V. Allegro deciso (5:15)

First Violin Sonata, Op. 7 (1960) (16:39)
6 I. Allegro rigoroso (6:52)
7 II. Adagio (5:27)
8 III. Allegro molto (4:12)

Piano Trio, Op. 22 (1968) (16:35)
9 I. Allegro moderato (5:07)
10 II. Vivace (3:03)
11 III. Largo -- Allegro (8:16)

First Viola Sonata, Op. 1 (1953) (13:57)
12 I. Adagio quasi sensa misura ma non troppo rubato (6:12)
13 II. Allegro molto (4:54)
14 III. Andante tranquillo -- Allegro molto e meccanico (2:45)

*commissioned by Ivan Sellin through a grant to The Chicago Classical Recording Foundation

Producers: Easley Blackwood, James Ginsburg / Engineer: Bill Maylone / Graphic Design: Melanie Germond / Cover: White Line Square I, published 1966 by Josef Albers 2005 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Recorded: February 2-3 (Op. 43), April 28 (Op. 1), and September 4 (Op. 7), 2002; and December 4, 2004 (Op. 22) at WFMT Chicago / Piano Technician Ken Orgel

Publishers: First Viola Sonata, Op. 1 1959 Theodore Presser / First Violin Sonata, Op. 7 1961 Easley Blackwood / Piano Trio, Op. 22 1968 Easley Blackwood / Second Viola Sonata, Op. 43 2001 Easley Blackwood