Scott Wheeler: Portraits & Tributes
Donald Berman, piano
BRIDGE 9463


$ 14.99

Composer Scott Wheeler writes that he has “always used the piano as a sketch pad, a place to explore ideas in two-minute pieces that might turn up in other forms in larger works. Bach, Chopin, Shostakovich and others organized their small keyboard works systematically. Mine have just accumulated over the years, as I suspect is true for Grieg, Scarlatti, and my teacher Virgil Thomson. In fact, Virgil’s particular version of the 'sketchbook' method of writing short pieces was to write musical portraits 'from life,' in the manner of his visual artist friends. I was myself a subject of one of Virgil’s portraits, in 1981”. Portraits and Tributes presents 27 of Wheeler's short works, performed by Donald Berman, a pianist much admired for championing new and little-known music of the 20th and 21st centuries.


Lovers of down-to-earth, intelligent American piano writing should check out this release. Berman is a superb pianist, and the sonics match his lovely tone.” - American Record Guide


Donald Berman’s thoughtful performances get the most out of the music. A thoroughly enjoyable release.” - Finding Beauty in Ephemera


Berman’s fluid playing and astute sense of dynamics infuse this music with honesty and playfulness often absent from more ‘serious’ compositions. A musical potpourri.” - SCENE


Portraits and Tributes is surprisingly strong and, perhaps even more crucially, entertaining from beginning to end.” - Sequenza21


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Program:

 Alphabet Dance (1992)
Calamity Rag (1979) Portrait of Steve (2013)
Birthday Card for Tony (1998) Midnight Bells (1998) Pastorale (1991)
Pseudo-Rag: GS (1985) Firefly Lullaby (1996) Cookie Waltz and Galop (1993)
Bleecker Study (2012) Study in Concord (2000) Sketching (1992)
Cowley Meditation (2009) Stone South (2009) Island Lullaby (2009)
Cliff Walk (2006) The Fifth of July (2007) Green Geese (1977)
Life Study (2014) Flow Chart (1993) Free Ranging (1983)
Epithalamion (1998) Arietta (2012)
Morningside (2007) Shimmer (1998)
By the Sea (2013) To His Music (1999)


BRIDGE 9463