BRUCE ADOLPHE (b.1955): Chopin Dreams, Seven Thoughts Considered as Music, Piano Puzzlers.
Catalogue Number: 11S072
Description: Adolphe is a pianist-composer who writes for his instrument with a natural fluency and an appealing combination of sophistication and a light vernacular touch. Chopin Dreams imagines what Chopin might write if he returned as a contemporary New York-based composer with jazz associations. The works use characteristic Chopinesque figurations, and in three cases are actually based on specific pieces; filigree right hand parts over steady bass lines, subtle, shifting harmonies, in pieces that draw on jazz styles and popular idioms. The Seven Thoughts are musical responses to aphorisms by great thinkers and poets "that are intellectually stimulating and emotionally charged, and – of particular importance – that use imagery suggesting musical parallels." as the composer puts it. The pieces manage to be philosophical and probing while remaining thoroughly accessible, in a very tonal vocabulary and with much eloquent and felicitous piano writing to enjoy. The composer explores a range of styles to illustrate the diversity of subjects addressed - nature, history, human thought and art - with the musical associations of the texts forming an integral part of the works' structures, processes and vocabulary. For the past 14 years, Adolphe has contributed a segment to 'Performance Today' in which he plays pieces in the style of famous composers. This selection of well-known tunes are rendered in the style of Chopin, witty and humorous little parodies with an impeccable sense of comic timing. Carlo Grante (piano).