Saturday, January 27, 2007

O rare Ben Johnston

Composer Ben Johnston has become a hot item on the new music blogs. NewMusicBox has posted a long interview with Johnston conducted by Frank Oteri (curiously, you can't find the interview if you start at the home page) and reprints an essay, "How to Cook an Albatross." Johnston has a new book out, "Maximum Clarity and Other Writings on Music."

Words are fine, but my main interest in music, so I'd like to take the opportunity to recommend one of my latest purchases on Emusic, "Ben Johnston: Music for Piano" by pianist Phillip Bush. The combination of Johnston's just intonation tuning and melodies and Bush's playing makes for an album that's unusual but also very listenable. (If you like Thelonius Monk's "sweet and sour" melodies, you might find the album interesting.) I was encouraged to download a copy for myself by the rave reviews posted by other Emusic listeners; I agree with the fellow from London who called it " a most strange, beautiful and compelling sound."

Downloading the Emusic version means you don't get the liner notes, but see Bush's Ben Johnson blog posting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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