What are you looking for in pieces of new piano music? Robert Taub

What are you looking for in pieces of new piano music? Robert Taub



Robert Taub
Photo by Miles Truesdell

I look for a certain razz-ma-tazz like the Chopin Nocturne part of Milton Babbitt‘s Second Piano Concerto. I want the notes to leap off the page, dance around with my fingers on the keyboard, and enter my heart, brain, and soul at the same time. I want the music to excite me, to play with my ears like the opening of Jonathan Dawe’s Wharton Center Concerto, and say “follow me, I’ll take you on a ride you won’t forget.” I want to be swept along in a wave of undeniable enthusiasm, like playing the Hammerklavier Sonata at tempo, which, although the piece is old, makes it sound new and fresh every time. And I want this to happen whenever I sit down to play a new piece, even when it becomes old and more new pieces have leapt aboard.