This week's edition of the ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award winning program Between the Keys finds The Classical Network's Artist-in-Residence Jed Distler exploring piano variations.
The four distinctly different works that Distler has chosen may not be equally familiar, yet promise stimulating listening. Chopin's youthful, seldom heard Variations on "The Carnival of Venice" start things off in a recording by Nikita Magaloff. Nielsen's Chaconne is a masterpiece waiting to be discovered, and John Ogdon's recording is considered the version of reference.
The piano music of Cornelius Cardew (1936-1981) gets more and more attention these days. Frederic Rzewski does justice to his late composer/pianist friend and colleague in a brilliant recording of Cardew's set of variations "We Sing For the Future." Lastly, Alfred Brendel serves up Franz Liszt's dense, harmonically elaborate variations based on J.S. Bach's "Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen Zagen" in a 1989 recording inadvertently omitted from Decca's 116-CD box set that otherwise includes the pianist's complete sessions for the Philips label.
Tune in to Between the Keys, Tuesday May 22nd at 10:00 PM for what promises to be a memorable episode.