"...a beautiful addition to piano literature."
The Scarlatti Doubles
The Couperin Doubles
Minkyung Oh, piano
Phoenicia is delighted to announce the release of this new recording in honor of composer Jon Appleton's 75th birthday, brilliantly performed by Korean-American pianist Minkyung Oh.
Like the works that inspired them, the twelve Scarlatti Doubles are virtuosic, sparkling, and -- in Appleton's hands -- often humorous and surprising, while the six Couperin Doubles are lyrical, emotional, and hauntingly beautiful.
Jon Appleton describes the compositions and their genesis:
"The piano pieces on this recording follow in the tradition of Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin and other 20th century works inspired by and modeled on music of the Baroque.
In the late 1940s, as a young boy studying piano in Hollywood, California, I first played a couple of Domenico Scarlatti’s Sonatas and Francois Couperin’s Pièces de Clavecin. I did not return to them until the early 2000s when I had again begun composing piano music. During a residency at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, I composed the Scarlatti Doubles. I selected twelve of Scarlatti’s Sonatas that I enjoyed most and composed my own pieces using Scarlatti’s turns of phrase, sequences, rhythmic gestures and melodic fragments. The “A” numbers refer to the “K” catalog numbering of Scarlatti’s work.
In 2013 I turned to the more programmatic, if less virtuosic, Couperin Ordres using the same transformative techniques I had used with Scarlatti’s pieces. With one exception, I used the English translations of Couperin’s titles."
"Very musical, and very original --
a complete success!"
Jon Appleton (b.1939) thought of himself as a composer beginning at age six. Much of his reputation rests on his highly original electro-acoustic music and his participation in the development of hardware and software to produce the music starting when he was twenty-four years old. Stylistic originality was expected of composers of his generation. Appleton considers the music on this recording to be playfully pianistic and often taking unexpected melodic and harmonic turns.
Marie Stella Minkyung Oh An admired child prodigy in her native Korea, and winner of numerous awards and competitions, Ms. Oh performed as soloist with the Seoul Symphony Orchestra at age 15 before moving to Boston where she studied with various teachers, graduating with distinction from the New England Conservatory. She also completed the Post Graduate Diploma at the Royal Academy of Music, London. This is her recording debut.
Minkyung Oh is one of the most gifted and accomplished of all the young pianists I have had the pleasure of working with through a long career...
An extraordinary performance of sensitivity, delicacy, and imaginative power.
photos: (c) 2014 Jonathan Sa'adah