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Frank Townsell Plays

Frank Townsell Plays

[CD]

~ Frank Townsell

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Product Notes

SUMMARY There are 2 pieces on this disc that have not been recorded before. The composer Clarence Cameron White was African American (1880-1960) and had a big influence on American music durig his lifetime. (He was a concert violinist, composer, researcher and educator). He also wrote an opera based on Haitian folk music with libretto by Langsta Hughes, and was influential during the Harlem Renaissance. The spirituals are beautifully arranged by noted pianist Arthur Friedheim who was a pupil of Franz Liszt. The rest of the album consists of pieces by Franz Schubert, Frederic Chopin, and Claude Debussy and are all masterpieces of the standard piano repertoire. *** ABOUT THE MUSIC Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Fantasy in C Major Opus 15 (Wanderer) D.760 Composed in 1822, this large-scale work is Schubert's most ambitious piano work and consists of four movements. The second movement is based on one of his songs entitled "The Wanderer." As a result, the composition is often called the "Wanderer Fantasy." The work is connected by harmonic cadential resolution and thematic permutations which are used in the first, second and fourth movements. This latter unifying device was used later by Franz Liszt in his "Sonata in B minor." It can be considered landmark in piano literature. Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) Étude in A Flat Major Opus 25 No. 1; Étude in C minor Opus 25 No. 12 Chopin wrote these compositions in 1836, which belong to the second volume of etudes. They represent the lyrical and dramatic elements of his musical personality. Upon hearing Opus 25 No. 1, Robert Schumann said: "It was an Aeolian harp possessed of all the musical scales." The Étude in C minor contains rapid arpeggios for both hands extending over four octaves on the keyboard. It produces a tumultuous effect and is better known as "The Ocean." Claude Debussy (1862-1918) Estampes, Pagodes, Soirée dans Grenade, Jardins sous la Pluie The "Estampes" are evocative pictorial scenes of music and are highly representative of Debussy's musical style. "Pagodes" makes use of the pentatonic scale and some exotic sonorities, perhaps inspired by Debussy's fascination with the Far East and his familiarity with the Japanese gamelon and musical system. "Soirée dans Grenade" utilizes the Spanish rhythm of the Habañera and is Debussy's attempt to depict an evening in Grenada in music. "Jardins sous la Pluie," a toccata-like piece, ends this series of musical "prints." Clarence Cameron White (1880-1960) On the Bayou, Cabin Song Clarence Cameron White was an African-American violinist, composer and teacher who developed an interest in the folk music of African-Americans after a career in America and Europe. He also co-wrote an opera based onHaitian themes with the noted poet of the Harlem renaissance, Langston Hughes. These two compositions are from the suite "From the Cottonfields" and are freely arranged for the piano by Arthur Friedheim. Here are the words to the songs: 'ON THE BAYOU' The full September moon sheds floods of light, And all the Bayou's face is gemmed with stars, Save where are dropped fantastic shadows down From Sycamores and moss-hung Cypress trees. 'CABIN SONG' Goodbye, I'm goin' home, Brother, I'm goin' home Goodbye, I'm goin' home, Somewhere around a throne. ABOUT THE PERFORMER - FRANK TOWNSELL Born December 11, 1941, Frank Townsell began his piano studies at age five. He was educated at Kansas City, Missouri and made his first appearance as piano soloist with the Kansas City Philharmonic Guild Orchestra in 1959. He received his Bachelor of Arts in French Literature from the University of Missouri while studying piano with Richard Canterbury and a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of British Columbia, while studying with Dale Reubart. In 1971, he received a Diploma from the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France. His teachers were Nadia Boulanger, Robert Casadesus and Jean-Jacques Painchaud. He then studied privately with Nadia Boulanger until his return to the United States in 1972. Frank scored a triumph at his Paris debut, receiving an ovation which led to further successful appearances in France. At Reid Hall in Paris he was a soloist on a recital program in honour of the legendary Mlle. Boulanger and was also featured in recitals at the Fontainebleau Palace where he played for Queen Frederika of Greece. Mlle. Boulanger said of Mr. Townsell's talent, "This is a musician of real value and complete seriousness. I recommend him highly." He has appeared in musical festivals in Columbia, Missouri and London, England. He has taught at the University of British Columbia and now lives in San Francisco and teaches at City College of San Francisco. DEDICATION To the memory of my father, A.V. Townsell, and my mother, Evelyn Townsell, for her unwavering inspiration.

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    Details

    Title: Frank Townsell Plays
    Release Date: 4/17/2007
    Label: CD Baby
    Product Type: CD
    Catalog #: 5637301973
    UPC: 694220160523
    Item #: CDBY016052
    This product is a special order