featuring pianist Clipper Erickson
In my previous conversation with Mr. Erickson, we focused almost exclusively on the music of R. Nathaniel Dett, whose music Erickson recorded and released last year to great success. If you haven’t listened to that episode, go check it out now.
Erickson tells me he’s pretty much based his career of the last few decades on releases and performances of unknown or neglected or underperformed works, saying he wants to do something meaningful, leave something behind. In this episode we speak about the other projects with which Erickson’s own cup runneth over, everything from Rachmaninoff (yeah, there’s underperformed Rachmaninoff) to Cyril Scott and more. There are some world premieres and premiere recordings in the mix, too.
We discuss the finality of composers’ markings, being a cook vs. a chef at the piano, David Finko, whose third sonata was written for Erickson in 2009, something neither of us know about chemistry (Borodin), submarine music, American and Hamburg Steinways, Cyril Scott and premieres of some of his work, and I ask a silly question about a piano concerto that Ravel never wrote, as well as Clipper’s experience playing some other standards in the repertoire.
This is the kind of adventurous, inquisitive advocacy of good music that I love to hear about. I make no pretense that I know anything about obscure composers or am any kind of authority, but Erickson is, and he’s putting great effort into bringing exciting, engaging music to larger audiences. Even something like the first piano sonata of Rachmaninoff (here played by Erickson’s own teacher John Ogdon) doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
In any case, Erickson’s arguments for these works is a convincing one, and he’s also just a really nice guy. Enjoy the chat, go check him out on his homepage (linked above), share the podcast, leave a comment and a rating in iTunes, and go like Fugue for Thought on Facebook. Stay tuned.