From Hammered! at Q2: “Premiere Week “
A Week’s Worth of Albums, Tracks and Composers New to Q2 Music
“Fresh from summer hibernation, Hammered! returns with brand new fall episodes chock-full of repertoire never before heard on Q2 Music. Tune in all week at 11, a.m. and p.m., for Q2 Music premieres drawn from rarely heard tracks, recently released albums and compositional up-and-comers.
Promo CDs and perusal media is usually painful to wade through, but wow, the box of Hammered! discs that accumulated over the summer was absolutely packed with treasure. A favorite from the pile was the makeshift-iest of the bunch (a compliment in this case): Simon Rackham’s Music For Multiple Pianos, a title typed in Times New Roman on a torn single sheet cover.
The disc contains three works written for five and six pianos, The Probability of Beauty, Still Beginning, Never Ending and Which Ever Way Your Nose Bends, a work for six pianos that Rackham intended as a counterpoint to Steve Reich’s seminal Six Pianos. In fact, this entire disc could aptly be heard as the Yang to Reich’s Yin, offering dense minimalist textures that are at once indebted to Reich’s work while providing an antithesis to it.
And then there’s Benjamin Broening’s beautiful album of night pieces called Recombinant Nocturnes. The work is anchored by five large “ensemble” movements (multiple pianists or solo piano with electronics) that are sewn together with eight Nocturne Fragments for solo piano. Aided by ravishing performances from four different pianists, Broening’s work is shimmering and elusive and incorporates some remarkably original electronic sounds.
We’ll give you a taste of both these discs on Monday, but tune in Tuesday and Thursday for the rest of Rackham’s album and on Friday for a complete run of Recombinant Nocturnes.
Other remarkable works receiving their Q2 Music debut: solo piano music from Vincent Persichetti, Richard Danielpour and Roy Harris; a new recording from composer Thorkell Sigurbjornsson; an unexpectedly fascinating collection of works from a collaboration between the mystic world traveler Georges Gurdjieff and pianist / composer Thomas de Hartmann; and a justly-tuned piano work with electronics by Randy Gibson.”