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Bates releases live CD by pianist, resident artist Glazer

Bates College has released a CD by pianist Frank Glazer, a musician of international renown who became artist in residence at Bates 30 years ago this year.

Frank Glazer: Live at the Olin Arts Center comprises music by J.S. Bach, Franz Schubert, Aaron Copland, Godfrey Turner and Frederic Chopin. Retailing for $15 plus a shipping and handling fee, the disk is available from the Bates College Bookstore by phone at 207-786-6121, or via the Web at batestickets.com or at store.batesbookstore.com/music1.html.

Glazer, of Topsham, has enjoyed a distinguished career that includes numerous recordings, solo recitals and performances with orchestras and chamber ensembles. In a era whose pianists often strive for the gloss of mechanical precision and a big sound, Glazer instead makes all else secondary to the music’s own message.

That’s borne out on the new CD. It comprises tracks were recorded during performances marking important career milestones for Glazer, who turned 95 this year: a 2006 concert held 70 years to the day after his New York City debut, and a 2009 date celebrating the 60th anniversary of his first Carnegie Hall appearance.

Seth Warner, manager of the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall at Bates, produced the CD. “My goal was to have a document of Frank still flourishing after all these years,” he explains — “something that would transcend the CD medium and convey Frank’s sound, warmth and presence.” And selections from the 2006 and 2009 concerts filled the bill nicely.

“I’m thrilled that it is a live and unedited recording,” Warner says.

The CD is also intended as a thank-you to Glazer “for all that he has given to Bates and to his supporters,” Warner says. “After every performance he always asks for as many programs as possible so he can send them to his friends around the world, to keep them up to date.

“This disc is a way for Frank to let his supporters hear what he is up to.”

Here’s the music on the CD:

“English” Suite No. 3 in G minor (BWV 808) by J.S. Bach, from the 2006 concert;

Sonata in A minor (D 845) by Franz Schubert, also from 2006;

Piano Variations by Aaron Copland, recorded in 2009;

“Great Paul” by Godfrey Turner, 2009;

and the Scherzo in C-sharp minor (Op. 39) by Frederic Chopin, 2006.

Glazer, who just completed a season-long survey of the complete cycle of 32 Beethoven piano sonatas at Bates, remains a vital presence on the music scene in Maine and beyond. A student of Artur Schnabel and Arnold Schoenberg, among others, Glazer is at home in every style of music from Bach to contemporary. He has concertized in more than 24 countries; appeared on his own television show for NBC stations; made more than 50 recordings and performed 30 world premieres.

Glazer was a founding member of the Eastman Quartet, the Cantilena Chamber Players and the New England Piano Quartette. He taught at the Eastman School of Music for 15 years before coming to Maine in 1980. With his wife, the late Ruth Glazer, he founded the long-running Saco River Festival in Cornish.

There’s more Glazer in the Olin vault. “In the preparations for this recording I discovered that there is an unreleased — but finished and mastered — recording of Frank playing Schubert and Brahms fantasies and a late Beethoven sonata,” Warner says.

It was recorded at Olin in the late 1990s by Grammy-winning classical producer and engineer Judith Sherman. The project was shelved after recording due to market conditions in the industry, Warner explains, “even though the sound and playing are fantastic.”

He is working on obtaining the rights to release the recording.



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