Monday, December 13, 2010

Jeffrey Mumford: 'Amy Briggs has established herself as a leading interpreter of the music of living composers'

[Tangos For Piano; Amy Briggs, piano; Ravello RR7808 (2010)]

Yesterday AfriClassical posted on composer Jeffrey Mumford: 'Plain Dealer: 'Mumford sets the cello on a mercurial journey full of furious and ethereal inventiveness.' We sent the post to the composer, who replied:

“Wonderful to hear from you! I very much appreciate your support of the music of African-Americans! Will keep you apprised of my activities, thanks for your interest! Here are some forthcoming performances, etc.

“FYI, JUST released!! on the Ravello Records label 'Tangos for Piano' by pianist Amy Briggs which includes my tango-variations.

Of the 22 tracks on Ravello RR7808, lists two for Jeffrey Mumford: Track 19 Tango-Variations (2:53) and Track 20 Tango Si (1:34). Here is an excerpt from Jeffrey Mumford's description of the career of Amy Briggs:

“Amy Briggs has established herself as a leading interpreter of the music of living composers, while also bringing a fresh perspective to music of the past. She recorded three volumes of David Rakowski’s Piano Etudes on Bridge Records to much critical acclaim. Based in Chicago, she is a featured soloist and chamber musician on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's MusicNOW Series, where she has worked with composers such as Simon Bainbridge, Pierre Boulez, Oliver Knussen, David Lang, Tania Léon, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Augusta Read Thomas. In the 2005-2006 season, she premiered Knussen’s A Fragment from Ophelia’s Last Dance for solo piano. She was awarded a stipend prize at the 2000 Darmstadt Internationale Fereinkurse für Neue Musik.

“The Chicago Tribune has called 'extraordinary' Briggs’s 'mastery of what lay on the dense, printed page and beyond,' and the Chicago Sun-Times called her a 'ferociously talented pianist.' Classics Today said of volume one of the Rakowski Etudes project, Briggs 'does a splendid job projecting the music's wit, and her unflappable virtuosity makes even the densest writing sound effortless... a marvelous disc that piano fanciers should snap up without hesitation.' In addition, the New York Times praised her recent recording of Augusta Read Thomas’s six Piano Etudes as 'elegant' and 'precisely shaded.'

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