Donald Berman Piano

MARTIN BOYKAN: Music for Piano (1986-2007)
Donald Berman, pianist
(Bridge 9434)

For many listeners, the music of Martin Boykan, 83, a professor emeritus at Brandeis University, might at first sound complex, spiky and pervasively atonal. But listen a little to this wonderful recording of Mr. Boykan’s piano music, played by the brilliant and sensitive pianist Donald Berman, and the captivating qualities of the music will soon grab most people. His style is steeped in complex atonal and 12-tone idioms. But he has never been a dogmatic or stylistically strict composer. Piano lines dart about the keyboard and intertwine; the jagged rhythmic writing can be feisty or playful, jazzy or pensive. But a pungent kind of lyricism comes through constantly. And Mr. Boykan, an experienced pianist, writes pianistically for his instrument. (Tommasini)