January 25, 2022
Pianist Lara Downes' new album "Reflections: Scott Joplin Reconsidered" to be released Friday, February 4

Ms. Downes embraces the breadth of Joplin’s artistry,
from his classical roots to the blossoming of his American innovations

Performances include Ms. Downes on solo piano as well as in collaborations with baritone Will Liverman, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Joe Brent on mandolin and vihuela, and a chamber ensemble

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (January 25, 2022) — Iconoclastic pianist Lara Downes takes a fresh look at the music of Scott Joplin (1868 – 1917) on her album Reflections: Scott Joplin Reconsidered, the newest release in her Rising Sun Music series, which brings to life the rich, 200-year lineage of Black composers in America.

This recording, to be released on Friday, February 4 (click here for pre-orders), looks back through a modern lens to explore the many layers of Joplin’s creative vision, as well as the complexities of his American experience. Now, half a century after the Joplin revival of the 1970s, Ms. Downes reintroduces audiences to Joplin through works that range from his early ballad A Picture Of Her Face, in a world-premiere recording with baritone Will Liverman, to selections from Joplin’s opera Treemonisha, and his most beloved rags, reimagined in kaleidoscopic arrangements by Ms. Downes and other writers. In contrast to many Black composers of his era, Joplin is familiar to mainstream listeners, but while his ragtime compositions are celebrated for their importance to American music, the full scope and depth of his artistry remain little appreciated.

As Ms. Downes states in her personal essay accompanying the album:

“Joplin’s music is an extraordinary reflection of many disparate influences: his father’s plantation melodies; his piano teacher’s sonatas and fantasies; decorous parlor waltzes in the homes his mother cleaned; boisterous “jig-piano” tunes in the saloons and brothels where he played in his youth. … Joplin’s music is a total embrace of everything he was made of, and a vision of making something new.”

Read the full press release here

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