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Given what music I’d heard from composer Michael Finnissy  (1946-) and the information I’d read, I was curious to hear even more. When the disc, “Mississippi Hornpipes: Music for Violin and Piano” became available, I took advantage of the opportunity to hear it, based upon the likelihood that these would be representative performances. Here, violinist Darragh Morgan and his wife, pianist Mary Dullea, are occasionally joined by Finnissy, who played a second keyboard.

I can’t say that I liked the music, but I did admire the fact that the composer was involved in the recording of it. In some instances, he wrote the pieces for the talents of these featured artists, which gave the disc an idiomatic, authentic quality. This well recorded disc was accompanied by notes from Finnissy regarding his modus operandi.

I found this music reminiscent of that by Charles Ives (1874-1954), as disparate musical ideas were combined in a given piece. I’m still awaiting an opportunity to hear more from the Michael Finnissy collection.

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