Piano Works, 1913-1990
"There is a remarkable force to all of Ornstein's music¬--a burst of energy, a frenzy and a passion which are ever refreshing to the tired musical ear."¬--George Gershwin. This original anthology is the first single-volume edition of the works of American avant-garde composer Leo Ornstein (1893¬-2002). Characterized as a futurist and ultra-modernist, Ornstein created daring, dissonant works that excited both admiration and contempt. A steadfast follower of his own musical instincts, the composer retired from his career as an internationally renowned pianist in the 1920s and continued to compose in obscurity for another half-century. Ornstein founded a Philadelphia-based music school, enjoyed a renaissance of popularity in the 1970s, and completed his eighth and final piano sonata at the age of 97. These sixteen compositions span eight decades and demonstrate a remarkable diversity of styles, from lyrical to atonal. Contents include Three Moods, Impressions of the Thames, Impressions of Chinatown, A Long Remembered Sorrow, A Morning in the Woods, and other works. Aaron Copland declared a performance of Wild Men's Dance as the most controversial moment of his young life, and as recently as 2002, The New York Times pronounced it "a shocker." Many originally published from 1914 to 1925, these pieces were long out of print until their return in this unique edition, which is sure to captivate intermediate to advanced level pianists and all fans of avant-garde music.