Anthony Braxton has released a nine-CD anthology of his piano music on Leo Records. Performed by Geneviève Foccroulle, the boxed set includes all of the prolific composer’s piano music written from 1968-2000. The set includes detailed liner notes by Stuart Broomer, featuring an interview with Braxton, and a separate booklet with the libretto and performing directions for his Composition 171, a lengthy work for pianist, actors, prompters, and “constructed environment.”
Ranging from Braxton’s Composition 1, a modernist offering in the post-Webernian vein, to Composition171’s complex narrative and theatricality, this is an excellent overview of Braxton’s evolving aesthetic and questing character, presented with sincerity and impressive facility by Foccroulle. In an era in which record companies are, by and large, shying away from such projects, kudos to Leo Feigin for supporting this ambitious endeavor.