Album: Conlon Nancarrow, Late And Unknown: Works On Rolls (Wergo)

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The Independent Culture

This compilation of rarities was recorded on Nancarrow's own player-pianos, variously customised to achieve his preferred timbre, approximating a harpsichord.

Some are of largely formal or technical interest, but a few are remarkable. "For Ligeti", a revised version of his "Study No. 3", is extraordinary, a rambunctious, rippling jazz-style piece with the peculiar rhythmic gait of a Scott Joplin rag, and a sense of timing as eccentric as Thelonious Monk's; while "Unnumbered Study" premieres a work from which both Nancarrow's String Quartet No. 3 and his Three Movements For Chamber Orchestra were subsequently derived. And "Study No. 48" may be his most complex work: two pieces played on the same piano simultaneously.

Download: For Ligeti; Study No. 48; Unnumbered Study