Top 10 Reasons to Buy “On Wings of Song”
10) 72 minutes of memorable classical piano music.
9) Mendelssohn’s “On Wings of Song” is just so pretty.
8) The “Norma Thriller.” Many classical musicians today don’t care much for this over-the-top composition by Liszt (the climax lasts 5 minutes!), but Greg loves it. Buy the CD and assess the piece for yourself.
7) The plastic wrap, the bar code, the aesthetically pleasing packaging!
6) “The Gallows” from Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit will give you the chills.
4) To support Greg.
5) To discover Grieg’s “Air” for yourself. It’s such an intimate and personal piece that Greg actually refrains from commenting.
3) To listen to Greg’s transcription of “Erbarme Dich” from the Saint Matthew Passion.
2) It makes a wonderful gift for friends.
1) To understand why Greg would ask his listeners to:
“immerse yourself in the devil’s world of hedonistic hallucination” (www.andersonpiano.com/wingsofsong/ondine.html).
Considerations for listening…
1) MENDELSSOHN/LISZT “On Wings of Song” 3:31
Stop what you are doing. Take a breath. Let everything out.
Could anything be more beautiful?
RAVEL Gaspard de la nuit
2) Ondine (the water spirit) 6:51
Essentially, this piece is a glorified sexual fantasy. Before the music begins, imagine the various sounds of water – the sound of stepping into a bath, of waves hitting a shore, of a skipping stone. Now, what would the water sound like if it were trying to tempt you?
3) Le Gibet (the gallows) 6:57
“Le Gibet” is based on a poem by Bertrand that asks, “What is this uneasy sound in the dusk? Is it the screech of the north wind, or does the hanged man on the gallows let out a sigh?” Is it the profusion of insects pouring over the dead body…or the creeks of the noose? Is it the uncertainty of life after death?
4) Scarbo (the gremlin) 9:04
He looked under the bed, in the fireplace, in the chest: nobody. – Hoffmann (Nighttime Tales)
Scarbo is the terrifying monster from your childhood, as real to you then as terrorists are today. While listening, set your alert level to red and try to predict Scarbo’s next move. From where will he attack?
MOZART Sonata in E-flat, K. 282
5) Adagio 5:26 6) Menuetti I & II 3:49 7) Allegro 3:14
In my estimation, Mozart composed the epitome of purity. His music is genuine and from the heart. Where can one see something so untarnished in today’s world? Sometimes I have to want to see it, and sometimes it’s hidden under several layers, but it’s always there. I see it in the humanity that surrounds me.
8) GRIEG “Air” from The Holberg Suite 6:28
Grieg’s “Air” is such an intimate and personal work that I hesitate to comment. Discover what it means to you. Maybe it’s something simple, or heartfelt, something deeply human, or an untold truth. Take the time and I promise the rewards will be great.
9) LISZT Reminiscences of Norma (by Bellini) 16:50
Have you ever loved someone so much it hurt?
Have you ever been hurt by someone you love?
At the climax of the opera Norma, these underlying themes are melded into one overwhelming emotion, satisfying and painful at the same time.
10) BACH/ANDERSON “Erbarme Dich” from The St. Matthew Passion 6:59
(Elizabeth Joy Roe & Greg Anderson, piano duo)
“Erbarme Dich” is a spiritual lament originally set to the words, “Have mercy, my God, for my tears’ sake. Look hither, heart and eyes weep bitterly before Thee.” The simple desire to perform this work of haunting beauty and emotional power inspired me to transcribe it for two pianos. It makes me cry.
11) Encore – STRAUSS/GODOWSKY “Ständchen” 2:44
(For extended historical and analytical program notes written by Greg, or to discuss the CD, please visit www.andersonpiano.com)
GREG ANDERSON: twenty-six-year-old pianist, composer, and scholar.
HIS MISSION: to demonstrate that classical piano music can serve as a relevant and powerful force in society.
The frenetic zeal with which Greg pursues his mission has led him to develop a multi-faceted career in the arts, and his exploits have garnered the attention of such media outlets as MTV’s Total Request Live, the CBS Early Morning Show, Pianist and Clavier magazines, and NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion, From the Top, Performance Today, and All Things Considered.
As a pianist, Greg has won numerous competitions, performed in Carnegie Hall, soloed with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and toured in North America, Japan, and Spain. He performs regularly with his piano duo partner Elizabeth Joy Roe; they are known worldwide for their revolutionary four-hand piano technique and adrenalized performances, and they will release their debut CD later this year. As a composer, Greg has filled in for John Williams on short notice, had works premiered in venues such as Alice Tully Hall and the Rose Bowl, and been named “Composer of the Year” by the Minnesota Music Educators Association. His compositions for The 5 Browns have appeared on the EMI and Sony/BMG record labels, the latest album reaching #1 on Billboard magazine’s classical music charts. As an actor, Greg made his Broadway debut in 2005 playing the role of “Vernon Duke” at NYC’s Playwright Horizons. Greg received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance from The Juilliard School as a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar; he is currently a candidate for the Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at Yale University.
Greg’s book-in-progress, The Art and Evolution of Piano Recital Programming, articulates his plan to demonstrate that classical piano music can serve as a relevant and powerful force in society. Greg believes that a piano recital offers means to the overwhelming beauty, spiritual essence, and humanity in this world. Help him to maximize the potential of his quest by participating in his interactive web sites, www.andersonpiano.com and www.andersonroe.net.