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Daniel Abrams about “Opera For Piano”

DANIEL ABRAMS, who has been hailed throughout Europe and the Americas (Alan Rich wrote of his Town Hall debut in 1957: he must henceforth be taken into account when lists of pianists most likely to succeed are being compiled) will be presenting a concert of music from his “Opera For Piano” series in New York City on Wednesday, Oct. 15th. Included will be the American premier of his Musical Portraits from Wagner’s ’Ring’ (a 45-minute work). He feels that in his lifetime of music making, this is his most important contribution to music, and that “Opera For Piano” (please see Abrams’ statement below) will be a great addition to the performing pianist’s repertoire. Marta Argerich recently heard some of Abrams’ music performed in Europe and requested its inclusion in her Lugano Piano Festival.
To give you some idea of Abrams‘ rare abilities as a musician and pianist, the following is from a review he received from “The NY Herald Tribune” when he presented the complete cycle of Mozart piano sonatas at the Kaufman Y:
Mr. Abrams, as has been noted before, is born to the piano; he cannot help but make beautiful sounds and he brings to whatever he tackles not only musicianship, technique and interpretative prowess, but a very special kind of intellectual radiance that quite sets him apart. In short, the five sonatas heard contained a veritable galaxy of refinements -- indeed, the sort of refinements that seem slowly to be creeping out of contemporary piano playing.
The concert, at the Mannes College of Music, 150 West 85th St (between Columbus & Amsterdam Avenues) is on Wednesday, October 15th at 8 pm. There is no charge and seating begins at 7:30 pm.
It promises to be a glorious evening of music making and the re-discovery of a truly great pianist!

The following is by Daniel Abrams about “Opera For Piano”:
All the music in the series “Opera For Piano” was written because I love opera and wanted to play some of this wonderful music on the piano. It is written in the styles of the various composers to preserve the passions and styles of the operas, perhaps as if the music had been written for the piano, but not as virtuoso pieces as was Liszt’s goal.
In the first three works - variations on arias - the story is not of paramount importance. However, in the “Portraits on Wagner’s ‘Ring,’” because Wagner used musical motifs for each character and dramatic “happening,” some knowledge of the storyline of this nearly sixteen hour series of four operas is certainly helpful, but not essential in listening to the music on its own.

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