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Five American works for piano on environmental themes.

Marthanne Verbit comments: "On my morning walks, I began to think about what role a musician might play in the environmental struggle our planet faces. In choosing to make a recording of five piano works from 1997 to 2007, this may be fiddling while Rome burns. However, it can do no harm to share these very personal musical visions of what is endangered, what is now lost, what needs to be celebrated or preserved, and it may give some pleasure." Composers include Joseph Fennimore (Five Rivers*); Peter Lieberson (The Ocean that has no West and no East); Hilary Tann (Light from the Cliffs); John Kennedy (Naturali Periclitati*) and Steve Heitzeg (Sandhill Crane Migration Variations).

*World premiere

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George Antheil, Bad Boy of Music
If you like Ives and Gershwin, then listen to this American "bad boy".

As Joseph Fennimore writes in his notes for this very well documented CD, "Ms. Verbit is the first pianist to have undertaken the Olympian task of deciphering and recording these early pieces of Antheil. She uniquely has the requisite tenacity, skill and resources for the task. Dedication is the word. Her researches have been thorough, her relationship with Antheil becoming deeply personal even though they never met. Everything about him that could be known, she has learnt. When she refers to Antheil as "George," one has the feeling he asked her to call him that."

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Romantic and jazzy with crossover appeal.

Marthanne Verbit was born in Atlanta and raised in the small town of Fitzgerald, Georgia. She spent her childhood either at a piano or in toe shoes, with frequent appearances on television, at music festivals and in theatrical productions in Florida, North Carolina and Georgia. She left the deep South to attend Hollins College and Boston University School for the Arts, receiving music degrees from each. Further studies at the Eastman and Juilliard Schools and Columbia University kept her in the North. Widely acclaimed for her flair, poetic fantasy, insightful musicianship and unforgettable stage presence, Verbit's piano recitals through the United States and Europe have established her as a favorite among piano connoisseurs. This piano recital includes works by George Gershwin (1898-1937); George Antheil (1900-1959); John Diercks (b. 1927); Joseph Fennimore (b. 1940); Leo Ornstein (1892); and Cyril Scott (1879-1970).

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Past Futurists

Music that's romantic and jazzy.

Marthanne Verbit comments: "We are now such a long way from the optimism, excitement, intellectual ferment and urge to experiment prevalent at the outset of the nineteenth century that it is difficult to believe all this really existed. The various movements that flourished during this era - impressionism, expressionism, futurism, cubism and neo-classicism, to name just a few - brought about a flood tide of music for the piano, this as diverse as the "movements" that inspired it. Perhaps at this point, we can listen with fresh ears to two of these earliest trend-setters, Cyril Scott and Leo Ornstein."