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Bolcom: Piano Rags / Spencer Myer

Release Date: 01/20/2017
Label: Steinway & Sons Catalog #: 30041
Composer:  William Bolcom Performer:  Spencer Myer

This fantastic release is pianist Spencer Myer’s debut album on the Steinway label. For this project, he has chosen a terrific collection of Rags by the eminent American composer William Bolcom. Featuring some of the newest Rags as well as classics, this album displays Bolcom’s ingenious approach to a favorite keyboard medium. This carefully selected collection of Rags includes three of Bolcom’s latest compositions: Estela: Rag Latino, Knockout: A Rag, and The Brooklyn Dodge. The Boston Globe lauded Spencer Meyer for “superb playing” and “poised, alert musicianship.” His orchestral, recital, and chamber music performances have been heard across the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Album Credits: Read more /> Tracks 1-6 and 8-15 recorded May 5-8, 2015 at Sono Luminus Studios, Boyce, Virginia
Tracks 7 & 16 recorded March 29, 2016 at Steinway Hall, New York City
Producer: Dan Merceruio
Engineer: Daniel Shores
Assistant Engineer: Lauren Sturm

Executive Producer: Jon Feidner
Design: Cover to Cover Design, Anilda Carrasquillo
Piano Technicians: John Veitch, Lauren Sturm
Pianos: Steinway Model D #590904 (New York) (tracks 1-6, 8-15)
Steinway Model D #519960 (Hamburg) (tracks 7 & 16)

"Scott Joplin is the foundation for Mr. Bolcom’s compositions, yet these pieces stretch the spectrum with frequented quirky pokes and jabs of clever dialogue, making the CD a poignant display of ragtime "in the now." This Spencer Myer release under the Steinway & Sons label is one that will absorb the listener with instantaneous affection."

-- Christie Grimstad,

"[T]hese delightful pieces are underrepresented in concert and on recordings, and this recording by pianist Spencer Myer is welcome. Myer rightly makes the pieces into concert works, not showboat nostalgia...This is an essential item for ragtime collections, and highly enjoyable for anybody."

-- James Manheim, AllMusic Guide

"Scott Joplin might have been the first name in piano rags, but he certainly wasn’t the last. Bolcom reinvigorated the form in the later 20th century around the time “The Entertainer” sparked new interest. Revisiting rags that hold the spirit of Joplin but were taken to the next level of the game, a walk down Myer’s memory lane is quite a memorable one indeed."

-- MidWest Record

"Bolcom’s music extends the ragtime tradition both rhythmically and harmonically...Bolcom’s wit and melodic inventiveness are a delight throughout, and pianist Spencer Myer plays them with audible affection and pleasure. Highly recommended to all collections."

-- Rick's Pick, CD Hot List [2/2017]

"On his latest CD, William Bolcom Piano Rags, released on the Steinway Label, pianist Spencer Myer breathes stylish flair into sixteen of Bolcom’s rags. From the first track to the last, the pianist presents each work with the perfect combination of the cerebral and the heartfelt. The recording is a wonderful addition to the ragtime discography, and with Jed Distler’s informative liner notes, it’s also a great tribute to the composer."

-- Cleveland Classical

"Collections of William Bolcom’s rags are few but welcome, especially when they’re performed, as here, not with classical restraint and strict phrasing, but with stylish flexibility and warmth... The sound is excellent. If you’re a fan of Bolcom’s rags, this should certainly be on your agenda for purchase.”

-- Barry Brenesal, Fanfare

"This is one gorgeous played and engineered album, and the music is sophisticated and charming... Spencer Myer's playing is truly outstanding; his dynamics, phrasing, and use of rubato are all well considered, and he's sensitive to every compositional and structural detail. His tone is gloriously warm and burnished, and the acoustics flatter himm with their evenness and clarity; the piano is represented perfectly."

-- ESTEP, American Record Guide
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