Pann is a graduate of the Eastman where he studied
with Samuel Adler and Joseph Schwantner. He also has a Masters
from Michigan University achieved under Bolcom, Albright and Sheng.
This disc seems to have taken a very long time
to emerge - eighteen months since the first mention - but here
it is at last.
The Piano Concerto is in five drastically
variegated movements which the composer confesses are more in
the nature of a suite. The five episodes feature music the composer
came to admire as he grew up. Piña Colada sounds
like a boozy latino serenade most often recalling Malcolm Arnold
in his uproarious and poetic Concerto for Phyllis and Cyril.
The Ravelian Nocturne makes way for the somnolent Your
Touch written as if for an exhausted lounge bar pianist. The
Gershwinny Blues is over in an instant and then comes a
seven minute shindig pot-pourri of magnified and sometimes distorted
Mozart, Prokofiev and Beethoven. Strictly for fun it ends with
the equivalent of a wink.
The warm and drowsily shimmering Deux Séjours
were each intended to follow on the style of Debussy's
orchestrations of the Satie Gymnopédies mixed with
Ravel's Pavane. They portray Fontevielle, Provence and
Portofino, Italy. The pictorial aspect continues into the
other gazetteer diptych on this disc: the Barcelona Portraits.
The first is fairly avant-garde and in its melting and buzzing
suggests the fantastic shapes of Gaudi's modern Gothic cathedral.
From Gaudi to gaudy - in The Bullfight. This is complete
with oompah beat, searing white-hot latino trumpets and all the
accountrements of Hispanic music from Massenet to Ravel.
The playful Dance Partita sports
four movements entitled Baroque with music to match and
harpsichord in tow. There are a dissonant Burlesque and
Pas d'éclectique, a slow dripping Air, a
Folk Dance which is part bucolic Orff, part Grainger and
part Beethoven's Pastoral. The final Baroque romp (tr.15)
echoes Carl Davis’s Pride and Prejudice music.
This is entertainment music … relax and enjoy.
Just listen to those whooping horns at the end of The Bullfight.
Last time I heard anything like that it was in Boult's Lyrita
recordings of two Moeran works - the Overture to a Masque and
the first movement of the Symphony in G minor. Glorious sound.