Mostly Piano

Mostly Piano

Description: 
Mostly piano; no canard
Composers: 
Juri Seo
Performers: 
Juri Seo
Clara Warnaar
Sean McClowry
Thomas Rosenkranz
Steven Beck
Nicholas Tolle
Mark Eichenberger
Catalog Number: 
#968
Genre: 
new classical
Collection: 
piano
women
Location: 

Princeton, NJ

UPC: 
726708696825
Price: 
$15.00
Release Date: 
Apr 28, 2017
Liner Notes: 
View
1 CD

Mostly Piano

One Sheet: 

The title of composer/pianist Juri Seo’s first portrait album and debut for innova Recordings is no canard: the record is, indeed, Mostly Piano. But through that most traditional of musical filters, Seo pours her eclectic influences and the results are coherent, but refracted and many-hued: Beethoven meets 20th-century avant-garde meets modern jazz. She scales the heights and plumbs the depths of the instrument, attempting to engage with the widest scope of pianistic possibilities.

Album opener “#three” is a Bad Plus-inspired piano trio that merges jazz and Late Romantic idioms, while “Three Mini Etudes in C” takes simple musical ideas in unexpected -- and often cute or violent -- directions in the hands of pianist Thomas Rosenkranz. “Piano Sonata No. 1 -- ‘La Hammerklavier’” takes its cue from Beethoven’s Op. 106 and pianist Steven Beck navigates the piece’s extreme registers of expression deftly. 

It’s only with “Études for cimbalom” that we find out what is not mostly piano on this release. Evocative and gesture-driven, the piece is performed by Nicholas Tolle, one of the most adventurous players of the Eastern European hammered dulcimer in contemporary music. The final track, “vi,” bring together Rosenkranz and and percussionist Mark Eichenberger to conjure strangely consonant music flecked with chromatic twists and turns.

Born and raised in Korea, Seo came to the United States in 2005 for graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Music at Princeton University.

Reviews: 

TERAPIJA

“...throughout the album is visible classical focus on traditional stylization of expression with a hint of spoof and Stine tonal syntax without limits with a clear counterpoint and striving for more complex infrastructure.” [FULL ARTICLE]

ARTS & CULTURE MAVEN

"Through the piano, that most traditional of musical filters, Seo pours her eclectic influences and the results are coherent, but refracted and many-hued: Beethoven meets 20th-century avant-garde meets modern jazz. She scales the heights and plumbs the depths of the instrument, attempting to engage with the widest scope of pianistic possibilities." [FULL ARTICLE] - Anya Wassenberg

GAPPLEGATE CLASSICAL-MODERN MUSIC REVIEW 

"Juri Seo is a modern original, and that her music on the current volume veers into breathtaking territory at times, and for all that never seems content to work inside the usual trends that occupy much of the contemporary music world." [FULL ARTICLE] - Grego Edwards

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

"The extraordinary charm and inventiveness of composer Juri Seo’s piano music come into view within the first 10 seconds of this ingratiating compilation disc, as a brisk handful of chords keeps getting knocked off-kilter by a single dissonant note." [FULL ARTICLE] - Joshua Kosman

KATHODIK

"brave tonal experiments, a further resource of the already wealthy bag of an Author who, to be sure, will come back soon to surprise us." [FULL ARTICLE] - Filippo Focosi

JAZZ WEEKLY

"Juri Seo plays piano, and also composes the pieces for pianists Thomas Resenkranz, Steven Beck, cimbalomist Nicholas Tolle and a handful of guests on this collection of modern intellectualism. Seo works in a trio setting with Clara Warnaar/perc and Sean McClowry on “#three” which focuses on Satie-like playfulness, while Rosenkranz delivers digital dexterity on “Three Mini Etudes in C.” Dashes of Gershwin are percussed by Beck on “La Hammerklavier” while Tolle crashes with the cimbalom on ”Etudes…”.’ The frisky “vi” has Rosenkranz and percussionist Mark Eichenberger going free and frantic." [FULL ARTICLE] - George Harris