McCright’s Minnesotans invade Merkin!

Matthew McCright

Second Childhood

Innova CD 739

Pianist Matthew McCright’s recital disc on the Innova imprint has been given a cute but apt ‘in house’ descriptor: “Kinderszenen aus Northfield.” Indeed, the Carleton College professor and new music advocate has assembled a disc of new works which simultaneously channel and elevate the “music for childhood/music about childhood” genre.

For those who’ve slaved through dull character pieces and rhythmically inert etudes during childhood piano lessons, several of the pieces on Misplaced Childhood will no doubt repair these memories. Indeed, the disc replaces them with the type of fare one wishes was in the folders – and practice routines – of more students today. Namely, the composers featured here are able to evoke childhood and, often, to write with student performers in mind, while never ‘writing down’ to young musicians. One is particularly charmed by the dance compositions of Daniel Nas and Laura Caviani; both have written suites filled with jazzy character pieces which seem readymade for the student recital stage. John Halle’s “Lullaby” and “Misplaced Childhood” are both lithely evocative standouts as well.

McCright’s detailed and engaging renditions amply demonstrate that pieces for intermediate  performers, as well as those for advanced pianists who are channeling memories of childhood, can still make for interesting listening and prove themselves of considerable substance.

The pianist is visiting NY this weekend, presenting the works of six Minnesota composers at Merkin Hall (details below).


Matthew McCright in Recital

New Works by Minnesota Composers from the American Composers Forum

September 25, 2010 8PM – Merkin Hall

Works include James Marentic’s “Rothko”; Justin Rubin’s “Waltz through Vapor”; Adam Wernick’s “Dream Play”; Paul Cantrell’s “Disembodied Dance”; Kirsten Broberg’s “echoes” and Daniel Nass’ “quatre etudes de fromage:” all are New York premieres.

Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center, 129 West 67th Street in Manhattan.

General admission tickets are $20 and can be purchased at or by calling 212.501.3303.

$15 student tickets are available at the door only.

2 thoughts on “McCright’s Minnesotans invade Merkin!

  1. Justin Rubin will be in the audience and will introduce his two pieces “Waltz through the vapor” and “Lullaby for Max” which is an anti-lullaby from the stage. The preview concert in Minneapolis was a blast!

  2. This was a great concert featuring the work of some really gifted composers. I loved Justin Rubin’s pieces. I found them extraordinary and moving. As was James Marentic’s “Rothco”, a brilliantly inspired piece by Mr.Marentic, whom I feel could be considered one of the great composers instead of being one of music’s best kept secrets. I want to hear more from these artists.

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