AN AMERICAN MIRAGEExotic Piano Images by Beach, Copland, Foote, Griffes, Macdowell & Nevin
H.h.a. Beach, Aaron Copland, Arthur Foote, Charles Tomlinson Griffes, Edward Macdowell, Ethelbert Woodbridge Nevin
RUTHANNE SCHEMPF, piano
"Ruthanne Schempf...is a new name to me, but judging from this release, I hope to hear more of her... Schempf’s program shows intelligence and imagination: Schempf’s rendition [of the Griffes] is as good as any of the others. She displays impressive technical command and brings clarity to the densely written passages... Schempf accords [the Nevin works] all the poetry this music requires. Likewise, four of MacDowell’s Woodland Sketches are played with sensitivity and delicacy... everything Schempf plays is either deeply serious, eminently pleasing, or both. Her sound is especially impressive—full, rich, sonorous in the low range, never clanky in the high. This program should find a place in most any collection that still needs some early American piano music in it."
Robert Markow, Fanfare - November / December 2009
"From pearly luminescence to determined rigour, Schempf has a compelling style for all seasons."
BBC Music Magazine - December 2009 [ * * * * ]
"Ruthanne Schempf seems to have the lyrical effusions of [the composers] in her blood... Beach's two Hermit Thrushes sing gorgeously; MacDowell's Wild Rose blooms radiantly. "
American Record Guide - November / December 2009
"Schempf gives a strong account of the [Griffes]... Schempf has chosen some very attractive and less often heard American piano pieces that escape the sentimentality that prevails in this literature... it’s a pleasure to hear Schempf switch gears and play these romantic works with charm and flexibility... Schempf plays [the Beach works] exquisitely..."
Paul Orgel, Classical Voice of New England - October 2009
* * *
Ruthanne Schempf is a graduate of Michigan State University where she studied piano with Ralph Votapek. After completing Bachelor degrees in piano and music literature, she returned to New York for graduate study under Robert Goldsand, Constance Keene and Marc Silverman at the Manhattan School of Music, ultimately earning a DMA. For many years, Dr. Schempf was on the faculty at Marist College in New York, and was the pianist for the Cadet Glee Club at West Point. She is a member of the Poné Ensemble for New Music and on the faculty of SUNY New Paltz where she teaches piano, music history and theory. Dr. Schempf is also an active chamber and solo musician and has performed throughout the United States. She is also a co-founder of the non-profit Hudson Valley Society for Music which produces Potluck Concerts and the annual Hudson Valley BachFest. In the summers, she teaches piano at the Interlochen Arts Camp.
Charles Tomlinson Griffes (1884 – 1920)
Ethelbert Woodbridge Nevin (1862 – 1901)
ETUDE IN FORM OF A ROMANCE, OP.18, NO.1
ETUDE IN FORM OF A SCHERZO, OP.18, NO.2
Arthur Foote (1853 – 1937)
FIVE POEMS (after OMAR KHAYYÁM), OP.41
Mrs. H.H.A. [Amy Marcy Cheney] Beach (1867 – 1944)
A HERMIT THRUSH AT EVE, OP.92, NO.1A HERMIT THRUSH AT MORN, OP.92, NO.2
Edward MacDowell (1860 – 1908)
WOODLAND SKETCHES, OP.51
Aaron Copland (1900 – 1990)
PIANO VARIATIONS (1930)