Listening Post: Howard Karp, Concert Recordings (1962-2007) - The Buffalo News

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Listening Post: Howard Karp, Concert Recordings (1962-2007)

Howard Karp, Concert Recordings (1962-2007): works of Mozart, Schumann, Liszt, Schubert, Chopin, Beethoven, Copland, Bach (Albany, six discs). Just a few weeks after this disc box of performances by highly regarded academic pianist Howard Karp came in for review, the pianist died June 30 at the age of 84, leaving this a more than befitting memorial. The music here goes all the way from his version of Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” and Beethoven’s fabled “Hammerklavier” Sonata to Copland’s thorny “Piano Variations” and the 1948 Sonata of composer Leon Kirchner, whose students at Harvard included Yo-Yo Ma and John Adams. Because his was a pedagogical career far more than a career of public performance and prominent concertizing, the performing talent on this box set of some of the greatest piano music will be largely unfamiliar even to more devoted classical audiences. Splendid nevertheless. The only caveat with the whole box is not an uncommon one – simply as a piece of packaging in plastic, this box has a not-uncommon tendency to fall apart when you’d like to cohere a good deal more. 3 stars (Jeff Simon)

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