Boomkat Product Review:
Colour us enchanted, this is a lovely suite of solo keyboard works by classical pianist Bruce Brubaker, presented as a sort of comparison between the earliest work written specifically for keyboard, and Terry Riley’s open-ended 20th century compositions
“On Codex, American pianist Bruce Brubaker sets up a clash (or a discussion) between Terry Riley’s Keyboard Study No. 2 (1965) and the Codex Faenza, a 15th century manuscript considered to be one of the very first collections of keyboard music. By putting forth the work of the performer/creator above that of the composer, this back-andforth takes the listener on a journey that is at once timeless and eminently current. Over six centuries ago, at the dawn of the 15th century, unknown scribes – authentic artists or inspired copyists, that we do not know – collected over fifty vocal compositions, some from the previous century.
Liturgical or secular, anonymous or bearing the imprint of the Ars nova’s most famous French and Italian composers (Jacopo da Bologna, Francesco Landini, Guillaume de Machaut, Pierre des Molins...), these works were transcribed on two parallel staves, which was unusual at the time and indicate that they were intended for keyboard. Thus the Codex Faenza – named after the Ravenna-adjacent town where it is kept – created circa 1420 and rediscovered in the 1930s, became an object of fascination for harpsichordists, organists and pianists the world over, as one of the oldest keyboard scores to have survived.”