ROGER REYNOLDS (b.1934): Piano Etudes, Books I & II.
Catalogue Number: 09X046
Description: This is the second of two volumes celebrating “Roger Reynolds at 85” (see 11W050 for the first), and marks the first recording of his Piano Etudes, in two Books. Book I was written between 2010 and 2011, Book II in 2016–2017. Reynolds’ Etudes allows the performer to not only choose the number of Etudes to be presented (even repeating them, if desired) as well as their order. In this way, the performer becomes a co-creator with the composer. Each etude inhabits a world distinctly its own. Reynolds dares a remarkable leap from the first to the second book. Rather than merely continue the premises and promises established by the first six etudes, the second six constitute a difference in kind rather than an extension. Their complexity is intensified, their investigations more extreme, even though they make comparable technical demands. The Etudes carry subtle quotations from Reynolds’ own, earlier piano works as well as the traditional literature of piano etudes. The lineup Reynolds has chosen includes Chopin, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Debussy, and Ligeti. Yet these allusions are not mere homages, and these quotations range from fleeting to obsessive.