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Piano Dance: A 20th-Century Portrait
Joan Huang, William Albright, Claude Debussy
Piano Dance: A 20th-Century Portrait
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music, Special Interest, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (22) - Disc #1

For sheer entertainment value, it's hard to find a classical CD that will beat this one. Gloria Cheng has chosen an astonishing variety of 20th-century piano music with nothing in common except brevity and dance origins. T...  more »

      
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Amazon.com
For sheer entertainment value, it's hard to find a classical CD that will beat this one. Gloria Cheng has chosen an astonishing variety of 20th-century piano music with nothing in common except brevity and dance origins. The disc is full of familiar pieces (Debussy, Scriabin, Ravel, Prokofiev) and entertaining novelties (Albright, Martinu, Poulenc, Ginastera). Donald R. Davis's exercise in creative plagiarism, "Illicit Felicity," rates a special mention for its ingenuity. But really, unless you're allergic to Philip Glass, there isn't a loser on the entire program. Cheng plays brilliantly, with appropriate special emphasis on the dance rhythms of the music, and Telarc's sound engineering is typically realistic. It ain't profound, but this is still a marvelous program. --Leslie Gerber

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CD Reviews

Fun to listen to!
Nicholas Bridgman | Berkeley, CA | 09/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Listening to this CD is fun. The CD has a diverse selection of contemporary dances for solo piano, ranging from familiar favorites, such as Gollywog's Cakewalk by Debussy, to lesser known and unconventional but charming works, such as del Aguila's Conga. The dances are varied and well-interpreted by Ms. Cheng, who brings poignancy to each one while maintaining throughout the CD a fun and energetic mood.Ms. Cheng's playing is phenomenal, and I also enjoy her earlier CD of works by John Adams and Terry Riley. Both CD's show off her rich tone and appealing style, but the dance collection is the most entertaining. If you buy this CD, you'll probably find yourself listening to it frequently."
An interesting concept not quite realized
F. Behrens | Keene, NH USA | 07/25/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"A very good concept. Take a noted pianist, in this case Gloria Cheng, and work with her on a program of 23 short works or short sections of larger works, all of which are one form or another of Dance--and you might come up with something good or possibly just a mixed bag. The Telarc release (CD-80549) is such a program. The playing is wonderful, the results what you might expect, alas: a mixed bag. A very definite positive about this program is that almost every selection was new to me. After all, how many of us are familiar with works like Miguel del Aguila's "Conga," Philip Glass's "Modern Love Reel," or Paul Hindemith's "Shimmy"? I mean, really! So there is much Joy of Discovery afforded by this CD; but with all but one piece running under 5 minutes (and that one at 9:26), a certain cloying factor creeps in after a while, and perhaps I should recommend this be played in small sections. But all in all, what a treasure-trove of little-known pieces."