ARTISTS

Mead, Philip

Philip
Mead
Piano
Philip Mead studied piano at the Royal Academy of Music, London, receiving numerous prizes and awards and a distinction in his final practical exam. Mead was a prize winner of the 1978 Gaudeamus International competition for Interpreters of Contemporary Music, and since then has been at the forefront of contemporary music in this country. He has performed virtually the entire piano music of Messiaen at London's South Bank and given premieres by major composers such as Crumb and Stockhausen. In 2003 Mead gave the first London performance of Henry Cowell’s Piano Concerto at the Barbican with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Lawrence Foster and broadcast by both BBC Radio 3 and BBC 4 television. At the 2007 Spitalfields festival where Mead gave the European Premiere of Chris Dench’s major work for solo piano ‘Passing Bells: Night’.

Montague, Stephen

Stephen
Montague
Piano
Stephen Montague (b. 10 March, 1943 Syracuse, New York) grew up in Idaho, West Virginia and Florida. He studied piano, conducting and composition at Florida State University (1963-67), received a doctorate in composition from Ohio State University (1972) and won a Fulbright Fellowship to work in Warsaw, Poland (1972-74). He first came to England as a musician with Strider Dance Co. (Richard Alston & co.), but since 1975 has worked as a freelance composer based in London and touring worldwide. His music has been widely performed, featuring in numerous international festivals and venues such as the BBC Proms (Royal Albert Hall, London), Wiener Musik Tage (Vienna), Festival of Contemporary Music (Mexico City) and Warsaw Autumn Festival.
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COMPOSER:

DESCRIPTION

This collection of Stephen Montague's music for piano explores his roots in the Southern USA - including spirituals such as Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen - and the legacy of American experimental composers such as Charles Ives and John Cage with wit and energy. Pianist Philip Mead (also heard on Lucifer) is joined by singer Monica Acosta, flautist Nancy Ruffer, the Elysian Quartet, the London Sousa Band, and the composer himself on electronics and piano.

Philip Mead piano
Monica Acosta voice
Elysian Quartet
Nancy Ruffer flute
London Sousa Band
Stephen Montague piano/ electronics

This recording was made with funding from the Research Committee of the Faculty of the Arts at Thames Valley University.

REVIEWS

"A consistently enjoyable portrait of a composer who knows how to focus his appeal. Terrific performances from Philip Mead, all well recorded."
Gramophone


"Why we like it: The haunting title piece plays off the composer's  upbringing in Florida in the 1950s and '60s by reworking folk tunes John  Henry and Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen. Paramell Va has great hard-driving piano. For Merce C at the Barbican is a tribute to choreographer Merce Cunningham.
Reminds us of: John Cage
Download these: After Ives, Paramell Va
Grade: A"

St Petersburg Times, Florida

"Southern Lament flags up the 1997 soundscape charting the American Deep South as distilled in its ballads and spirituals. A deconstruction as gritty as coarse sandpaper, as tender as a powerfully imagined lament. The other big work is "After Ives...", a salute from one maverick to another that contrives a hoe-down for the end of time amid a deal of gleeful ambiguity... Philip Mead, a longtime collaborator with Montague, sweeps all before him. Formidable pianism, ear-stretching music."

BBC Music Magazine, 2006

RECORDING CREDITS

 Recording date: 25 May and 19 December 2003; 30 August and 16 October 2005

Recording venue: Vestry Hall, London College of Music and Media

Engineer/ Producer: Iain Hodge 

Cover image: Julian Montague

(P) 2006 NMC Recordings Ltd

Publisher:
United Music Publishers
Catalogue number:
NMC D118
Release Date:
1 February 2006