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The Piano Fantasy (1969-72) is the toughest work on the disc in which Ramey explores a fancy with serialism. There is much contrast in its four sections although the entire work once again has a very serious tone.

It was actually Virgil Thomson who brought the musical 'portrait' into vogue, and with Four Tangier Portraits (1991-99) we have four pieces by Ramey carrying on the tradition.

Toccata No 2 (1990) was composed in Tangier and is dedicated to Mirian Conti who premièred it in Merkin Hall, New York, in 1991. The composer has described the piece as 'a propulsive, rhythmic, motoric work with a pronounced lyrical element.' It's in the form of a modified rondo with a central lyric section.

Stephen Gosling plays the works with impressive authority [listen -- track 17, 5:09-6:16] and is totally sympathetic with Ramey's style. Stephen is a British pianist who studied at the Juilliard School in New York. He now plays for many of New York's most prestigious orchestras and new music groups and has recorded for New World, CRI, Innova, Albany and Centaur amongst others.

The notes written by Benjamin Folkman are excellent. He is president of The Tcherepnin Society and the author of the entry on Phillip Ramey in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

Copyright © 10 February 2008 Anthony Davie, Newcastle UK


Philip Ramey: Piano Music, 1961-2003

TOCC 0029 DDD Stereo FIRST RELEASE 77'41" 2006 Toccata Classics

Stephen Gosling, piano

Philip Ramey (born 1939): Color Etudes (1994) (Purple - Andante liturgico; Green - Allegro moderato; Maroon - Adagio; Orange - Allegro moderato; Red - Moderato; Gold - Allegro; Blue - Larghetto; Scherzando; Silver - Allegro scherzando; Black - Allegro); Memorial (In Memoriam Alexander Tcherepnin) (1977); Chromatic Waltz (1993); Piano Sonata No 1 (1961) (Allegro marcato; Adagio; Allegro vivace); Piano Sonata No 2 (1966, revised 2003) (Moderato; Largo; Allegro con Brio; Lento); Piano Sonata No 5 (For the Left Hand) (1989); Piano Fantasy (1969-72); Four Tangier Portraits (Paul Bowles: At Eighty (1991); Cherie Nutting: Elf in Kasbah (1991); Philip Krone: Plotting a Strategy (1999); Phillp Ramey: Dire Thoughts Beneath the Sweltering Sky (1994)); Toccata No 2 (1990)


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