Etudes, No. 1 and No. 6 by Scott Pender
I've known composer Scott Pender for over twenty years, but we've never met. I first heard one of his pieces, "Ms. Jackson Dances for the People," on a fantastic compilation CD of piano tangos entitled Incitation to Desire. At that time, "Ms. Jackson" wasn't published, so I wrote to Scott and asked him if he'd sell me a copy. He obliged, and since then, I've played almost everything he's written for the piano, including the world premier of his Three Impromptus in 2015, on a live radio concert on allclassical.org. During that performance, I was given the chance to interview Scott on-air, over the phone. It was the first time we ever spoke to each other.
Scott writes music that contains elements of minimalism, romanticism, and thorny, modern rhythms. He has a gift for melody. Over the past few years, I've been adding his Etudes to my repertoire. These two are the first ones I learned; the rest will show up in future blogs.
Both of these pieces were recorded in concert, and both were well received by a largely non-classical audience. Etude No. 6, "North Train", was a particular favorite. Scott's pieces appeal to trained musicians because it is sophisticated and well-crafted; they appeal to the average listener because they contain great tunes and funky beats.
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