Nikolai Kapustin: Piano Music

Nikolai Kapustin: Piano Music—John Salmon, piano (Naxos 570532)

We had Office Spring Cleaning here at WCLV recently and unearthed some CD treasures previously hidden. Among them was this 2008 release featuring the music of Nikolai Kapustin, the Russian exponent of an aesthetic characterized as “written-out jazz.” reviewer Jed Distler said, “Pianist John Salmon offers a tasting menu of short pieces, bracketed at the end by the Second Sonata's Scherzo, and up front by a recently composed (2005) large-scale work,” the Piano Sonata No. 15.  The pianist’s witty program notes end with these words: “Welcome to Kapustin’s phantasmagorical musical dacha, where…Art Tatum morphs into Leopold Godowsky and Alexander Scriabin shares the piano bench with Count Basie.  Sergei Rachmaninoff, Zez Confrey, James P. Johnson, Stephen Sondheim, and Franz Schubert are there too, egging Kapustin’s many alter egos on to ever wilder flights of musical fancy.”

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