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Richard Teitelbaum is a remarkably versatile composer and performer, whose mastery of the keyboard extends from acoustic piano to multiple computer systems. A pioneer of live, improvised electronics with Musica Elettronica Viva (MEV), the group he co-founded in the 1960s, he’s also the composer of such experimental works as the ‘interactive opera’ Golem and Concerto Grosso for Human Concertino and Robotic Ripieno.

Piano Plus presents a selection of his music for acoustic piano, although 1963’s brief Intersections, played here by MEV colleague Frederic Rzewski, is the disc’s only piece for solo piano. Three works from 1982 (previously available on a Lumina LP) employ a ‘digital piano system’ that allows Teitelbaum to play three acoustic pianos simultaneously (the CD booklet explains how). Inspired by the ‘wild exuberance’ of Conlon Nancarrow’s player piano studies, the surging rhythmic textures of In the Accumulate Mode and Solo for Three Pianos also recall Julius Eastman’s exhilarating multiple-piano works of circa 1980.

Two later pieces, Seq Transit Parammers (1998) and …dal niente… (1997), are played here by their respective dedicatees, Ursula Oppens and Aki Takahashi. Teitelbaum conceived the former as a ‘toolkit for real-time interactive composition’, so Oppens plays both acoustic piano and laptop, notated music and ‘open form’ possibilities, in a multifaceted, often touchingly lyrical conversation with herself. On …dal niente…, Takahashi’s piano is in dialogue with Teitelbaum’s ‘real-time iterative computer system’; their engaging interplay is a synthesis of new technology and age-old beauty.

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Piano International, 2014 - ©Rhinegold Publishing