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Eastman, Julius

Two Extended Pieces For Four Pianos [VINYL 2 LPs]

Eastman, Julius: Two Extended Pieces For Four Pianos [VINYL 2 LPs] (Sub Rosa)

Four European pianists--Nicolas Horvath, Melaine Dalibert, Stephane Ginsburgh, Wilhem Latchoumia--perform New York legendary and radical avant composer Julius Eastman's powerful works for four pianists: the provocatively titled "Crazy Nigger" and "Evil Nigger", reflecting the biased culture he faced, written around 1980 using his organic principle of composition.

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Julius Eastman-composer

Nicolas Horvath-piano

Melaine Dalibert-piano

Stephane Ginsburgh-piano

Wilhem Latchoumia-piano

Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.

UPC: 5411867335030

Label: Sub Rosa
Catalog ID: SR 503LP
Squidco Product Code: 31676

Format: 2 LPs
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: Belgium
Packaging: Double LP in single Sleeve
Live recording at Festival Musica in Strasbourg, France, on September 28th, 2019, by Jarek Frankowski.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Four Pianos (1979-80)

It is recognized today that these tutelary pieces for four pianos are among the most powerful in contemporary music,their impact is almost unparalleled. After the historical version recorded forty years ago, this one, featuring four of the greatest European performers, is now regaining its full power. High level recordings too.

Julius Eastman

There was some for John Cage, then came Christian Wolff, and finally Morton Feldman, from this school in New York. Only Julius Eastman remained outside the game, the last figure, the most solitary and enigmatic - undoubtedly also one of the most powerful, and it is this power that is revealed through these recordings. In the 1970s and 1980s, Eastman was one of the very few African-Americans to gain recognition in the New York avant-garde music scene. He was politically committed, a figure of queer culture and a solar and solitary poet whose melancholy influenced his genius as well as his tragic destiny : suffering from various addictions, declared missing, actually homeless. During Winter of 1981-82, he got deported from his apartment by the police, who destroyed most of what he owned - including scores and recordings. He was found dead in 1990, on the streets of Buffalo, after years of vagrancy.

The Performers

Nicolas Horvath, pianist and electroacoustic composer Nicolas Horvath is known for his boundariesless musical explorations - he has collaborated with leading contemporary composers from around the world, including Alvin Lucier, Alvin Curran and Valentyn Silvestrov - the recordings of his complete works for piano by Phil Glass made a lasting impression. He has collaborated recently with Lustmord on the Deconstruction of November by Dennis Johnson (Sub Rosa SR502: The Fall).

Melaine Dalibert, a French composer and pianist, fascinated by natural phenomena which are both expected and unpredictable, Dalibert has developed his own algorithmic procedures of composition which contain the notion of stretched time evoking Morton Feldman, minimal and introspective, adopting a unique concept of fractal series.

Stephane Ginsburgh, a tireless surveyor of the repertoire but also explorer of new music, collaborated with composers such as Philippe Boesmans, Jean-Luc Fafchamps, Stefan Prins, Frederic Rzewski and Matthew Shlomowitz of whom he premiered works, as well as with choreographers such as Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (Rosas) and recorded Feldman, Duchamp and Satie for Sub Rosa and the complete set of Prokofiev piano sonatas for Cypres.

Wilhem Latchoumia, he embraces both new music and the classical repertoire with success and charisma. His two last recordings for La Dolce Volta (Prokofiev and de Falla) have been highly acclaimed by critics with a FFFF in Télérama. Winner of the Hewlett-Packard Foundation and the Montsalvatge International Piano Competition, he brilliantly won the First Prize in the 2006 Orléans International Piano Competition."-Sub Rosa

Artist Biographies

"Julius Eastman was born on October 27, 1940 (to May 28, 1990). He was an accomplished composer, pianist, vocalist, and dancer of minimalist tendencies.

Julius Eastman grew up in Ithaca, New York, where he worked in his teen years as a paid chorister. He gained plenty of regional attention with his wonderful voice, and began his piano studies at age 14. After only six months of practice, he was playing Beethoven and other challenging classical composers. Eastman attended Ithaca College and transferred to the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied piano with Mieczyslaw Horszowski and composition with Constant Vauclain. After a few months, Eastman switched his major from piano to composition.

Eastman made his debut as a pianist in 1966 at Town Hall in New York City. He possessed a rich baritone voice that caught the attention of the symphonic world when he recorded the 1973 Grammy-nominated Nonesuch recording of British composer Peter Maxwell Davies' "Eight Songs for a Mad King." Eastman's talents as a composer impressed the celebrated composer and conductor, Lukas Foss.

In 1970, Eastman joined the Center for the Creative and Performing Arts at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he met the Czech-born composer, conductor, and flutist Petr Kotik. Eastman and Kotik performed together extensively in the early to mid-1970s, and he became a founding member of the S.E.M. Ensemble, with whom he performed, toured, and composed numerous works. Many of the earliest performances of Eastman's works were given by the Creative Associates Ensemble of University at Buffalo, of which he was also a member beginning in 1968. He taught theory while at the University at Buffalo, but left over what he described as "creative differences." Eastman had hoped to transition to a similar position at Cornell University, in his hometown of Ithaca, but they quickly backed away, and it failed to materialize.

Eastman eventually moved to New York City, where he was associated with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, then led by his friend Lukas Foss. Eastman became a pioneering figure in minimalism, and an influential member of the 1980s Downtown New York scene. He performed in jazz groups with his brother, Gerry Eastman, a guitarist and bass player in many jazz ensembles, including the Count Basie Orchestra. Ironically, the only work by Julius Eastman registered with the U.S. Copyright Office is as a lyricist, with his brother Gerry listed as the composer.

Julius Eastman was a composer of works that were minimal in form but maximal in effect. His compositions were often written according to what he considered an "organic" principle, by which each new section of a work contained all the information from previous sections, though sometimes "the information is taken out at a gradual and logical rate." The principle is most evident in his three works for four pianos, "Evil Nigger," "Crazy Nigger," and "Gay Guerrilla," all from around 1979.

The last of these, an expansive and emotional work, appropriates Martin Luther's hymn "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" as a gay manifesto. Eastman's "Stay On It" from 1973 was an influential post-minimalist piece that incorporated pop music influences. He frequently performed with the Experimental Intermedia Foundation, and participated in music symposia with Morton Feldman and John Cage.

A 1980 selection for Eastman's voice and cello ensemble, "The Holy Presence of Jeanne d'Arc," was performed at The Kitchen in New York City, and he lent his vocal strength to Meredith Monk's ensemble for her influential album, "Dolmen Music," in 1981. In 1986, choreographer Molissa Fenley used his work "Thruway" for a dance called "Geologic Moments" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Julius Eastman was a man seemingly balanced between irreconcilable extremes. He was brilliant, but suffered from extreme bouts of schizophrenia; he was celebrated as a star in the avant-garde world of classical music, but was occasionally homeless and sleeping in Manhattan's Tompkins Square Park. But perhaps the greatest difference was addressed by one of Eastman's colleagues who stated simply, he was "a Black, gay man rattling around loudly in the white, constrained world of classical music. Eastman was a living testament to unbounded American opportunity and woeful American inequality."

Eastman's mercurial artistry often reflected those conflicting paradigms in his world. His compositions exposed a confrontation that he saw between Western and African music, and conflicting notions of beauty. Eastman's music could comfort one moment and agitate the next. But in the end, he may have been a man who despite his immense intellect and talent, thrashed himself apart trying to live too many contradictions.

Eastman also battled alcoholism and drug addiction. He could be immensely charming, but also an acrid, seething, and occasionally impossible man. Sometimes when he spoke, it was difficult to detect if he was being hurtful or humorous. His temperament can even be detected in the titles he assigned his compositions: "If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich," "Evil Nigger," and "Gay Guerrilla." The language was so acidic, it ate away at the concert hall universe, and was perhaps a fitting gesture for someone who saw as much rank hypocrisy as opportunity within its walls.

Despondent about what he saw as a dearth of professional possibilities worthy of him, Eastman grew increasingly dependent on alcohol and other drugs after 1983, and his life began to fall apart. At one point, he was evicted from his apartment, his belongings (including most of his music scores) abandoned curbside. Despite an unsuccessful attempt at a comeback, he shuffled between friends' homes in New York City and Buffalo, and slipped into obscurity.

Julius Eastman and I had a mutual friend, upon whose doorstep Eastman would occasionally appear. He would stay for a while, and then vanish under the premise of a new musical collaboration or project that required his presence. His friend, John Crawford, had a spacious apartment in a very elegant rowhouse in downtown Buffalo. He also had a stunning, burled rosewood Steinway Grand in his parlor, that Eastman reportedly never touched. It appears his disconnection from his musical past was becoming complete.

At his final visit to Buffalo, Julius Eastman was very, very ill. I spoke to him briefly, but was disturbed to see him in such deep crisis. He suffered from insomnia, was emotionally distressed, and, as I recall, very paranoid-certain that the music world was out to destroy him. But the more pressing issue was his rapidly failing health from the effects of AIDS. Within days, Eastman would be rushed to Buffalo's Millard Fillmore Hospital, where he died three days later, on May 28, 1990, from AIDS-related, cardiac arrest. Julius Eastman had descended so far from the public eye that no notice was given to his death until an obituary by Kyle Gann appeared in the "Village Voice" on January 22, 1991, eight months after he died.

Eastman's notational methods were loose and open to interpretation, and consequently, any revival of his music has been a difficult task, dependent on the generous efforts of people who worked with him. Many of his compositions and recordings were discarded when he was evicted. But there are some amazing musicians, who are working tirelessly to collect, preserve, and perform his compositions, and keep his unique musical presence available for generations to come.

Eastman's music continues to be heard around the world. In December of 2016, the world's first Eastman retrospective took place at the London Contemporary Music Festival, and included a presentation of seven Eastman works and an exhibition, spread over three nights. The following May, "That Which Is Fundamental," a four-concert retrospective and month-long exhibition of Eastman's work was hosted at Bowerbird in Philadelphia, produced in collaboration with the Eastman Estate.

We remember Julius Eastman, and thank him for his unique artistry, and his contributions to our cultural landscape and community."

-The Ubutntu Biography Project (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Nicolas Horvath is an unusual artist with an unconventional résumé. He began his music studies at the Académie de Musique Prince Rainier III de Monaco, and at the age 16, he caught the attention of the American conductor Lawrence Foster who helped him to secure a three-year scholarship from the Princess Grace Foundation in order to further his studies. His mentors include a number of distinguished international pianists, including Bruno Leonardo Gelber, Gérard Frémy, Eric Heidsieck, Gabriel Tacchino, Nelson Delle-Vigne, Philippe Entremont, Oxana Yablonskaya and Liszt specialist Leslie Howard who helped to lay the foundations for Horvath's current recognition as a leading interpreter of Liszt's music. He is the holder of a number of awards, including First Prize of the Scriabin and the Luigi Nono International Competitions.

Known for his boundary-less musical explorations, Nicolas Horvath is not only a rediscoverer of unknown or unjustly forgotten composers such as Moondog, Germaine Tailleferre, François-Adrien Boieldieu, Hélène de Montgeroult, Félicien David, Karl August Hermann or works unjustly forgotten such as Franz Liszt Christus or Claude Deussy's La Chute de la Maison d'Usher... but also a music lover of our time. He has commissioned and premiered a vast repertoire from a very large number of composers (notably in 2014 from more than 120 composers for his Homages to Philip Glass project) and collaborated with leading contemporary composers from around the world, such as: Terry Riley, Alvin Lucier, Régis Campo, Mamoru Fujieda, Jaan Rääts, Alvin Curran and Valentyn Silvestrov.

Horvath has become noted for the organisation of concerts of unusual length, sometimes lasting over twelve hours, such as the performance of the complete piano music of Philip Glass at the Paris Philharmonie before a cumulative audience of 14,000 people, or the complete piano music for Erik Satie and his Vexations. In October 2015, he was invited to give the closing recital of the Pavilion of Estonia at the Universal Exhibition in Milan with a Jaan Rääts monographic program, the same year he gave at Carnegie Hall, the world premiere of the complete cycle of the 20 Philip Glass Etudes. And in May 2019, Nicolas had the honor of having been chosen by Philip Glass himself to perform live with him and 8 other pianists, his 20 studies at the Philharmonie de Paris.

Nicolas has produced twenty albums unanimously praised by the press. Nicolas is also a Steinway Artist and an electroacoustic composer."

-Nicolas Horvath Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Melaine Dalibert is a French pianist and composer born in 1979. After studying piano in Rennes and Paris conservatories (with Joël CAPBERT and Pierre REACH), he dedicates himself to contemporary art creation as a performer (première pieces from Gérard Pesson, Giuliano D'Angiolini, Tom Johnson, Ahmed Essyad among others) while initiating a persona composition work based on rigorous generative systems. Melaine shares preoccupations with visual artists such as François Morellet, Véra Molnar or Marcel Dinahet, whom he has collaborated with, and his music is deliberately emancipated from any narrative purpose in order to highlight combinatorial games vacillating between order and chaos. His creations have been radio transmitted (France Musique) and played in many French and foreign museums and contemporary art centers."

-Newport Contemporary Music Series (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Stephane Ginsburgh has been praised for his daring piano playing and appears regularly in recitals and chamber music worldwide. He has performed at numerous festivals such as Ars Musica, Quincena Musical, ZKM Imatronic, Agora, Bach Academie Brugge, Ultima Oslo, Darmstadt Ferienkurse, Gaida (Vilnius), Warsaw Autumn, Musica Strasbourg and Klara Festival. His next season performances will take him to Les Nuits Botanique, Festival Musiq3, Ars Musica, Impuls and Festival Musique Action.

A tireless surveyor of the repertoire but also exploring new combinations including voice, percussion, performance or electronics, he dedicates much of his energy to contemporary music. He regularly plays with the Ictus Ensemble, has collaborated with many composers such as Frederic Rzewski, Jean-Luc Fafchamps, Stefan Prins and Matthew Shlomowitz of whom he premiered works, as well as with choreographers and visual artists. Stephane Ginsburgh loves immersive performances and has played Prokofiev's complete piano sonatas in one evening.

Stephane Ginsburgh recorded Feldman, Duchamp, Satie, Fafchamps for Sub Rosa. He recorded the world premiere of two pieces by David Toub for World Edition. His Prokofiev complete piano sonatas are released on Cypres Records in 2015. In 2018, Grand Piano/NAXOS published his recording of the world premiere of the "Bad-Tempered Electronic Keyboard", a series of 24 Preludes and Fugues by the composer and writer Anthony Burgess. His most recent release in 2019 is "Piano Hero" which is included in an album dedicated to the music of Stefan Prins on Kairos. His upcoming recordings for Sub Rosa include one CD with Julius Eastman's complete music for four pianos and another one with pieces for speaking pianist by Frederic Rzewski.

He is a laureate of the Tenuto competition 1995 and has received the Pelemans Prize in 1999 from the Belgian composers union for his dedication in performing Belgian contemporary music. In 1998, Stephane Ginsburgh co-founded SONAR (previously le Bureau des Arts), a group of artists dedicated to different types of artistic expression and creation including music, dance and literature, which he directed until 2018. He has also been artistic director of the Centre Henri Pousseur, an electronic music studio in Liège, from 2010 until 2013.

He taught piano and chamber music at the Royal Conservatories in Brussels, Mons and Liège. He is a professor at the Dalcroze Institute in Brussels. After completing his studies at the Conservatory with a master in music, he worked with Paul Badura-Skoda, Claude Helffer, Jerome Lowenthal and Vitaly Margulis.​ Stephane Ginsburgh also holds a BA in philosophy of science from the Free University of Brussels (U.L.B.) and a DMA (PhD in the Arts) from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel en Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel."

-Stephane Ginsburgh Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Wilhem Latchoumia is unique in the field of music. He embraces both new music and classical repertoire with as much success as charisma. The way he creates original programs is therefore seen by many as his signature. In the meantime, he has this strong and jubilant bond with the audience.

In France, he has performed on numerous occasions at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, the Opéra Comique, the Cité de la Musique, the CENTQUATRE, the Théâtre d'Orléans, the Musée d'Orsay Auditorium, Toulouse Capitole, Lyon, Saint-Etienne and Dijon Operas, as well as the Fondation Royaumont. He has also been invited by international festivals such as Printemps des Arts de Monte Carlo, Piano aux Jacobins in Toulouse, La Roque d'Anthéron, Besançon and Aix-en-Provence, and has close relationship with Strasbourg-Musica, the Festival Messian au Pays de la Meije, Musiques en scène Biennale in Lyon (GRAME), Lille Piano(s) Festival and more...

Abroad, audiences enjoy his performances in many festivals and venues such as London Barbican Centre, Liege Philharmonic Hall, Brussels BOZAR and Brugge Concertgebouw, the Institute For Contemporary Performance (Mannes College) in New York City, the Beijing Modern Music Festival and Shanghai Electronik Music Week, as well as Buenos Aires Encuentros Festival, the Retour au Pays Natal festival in Martinique, in Italy (Gubbio Summer Festival and Traiettorie festival in Parma), Berlin (Young Euro Classic Festival), San Sebastian (Quincena musical)...

He will make his debuts at the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik next spring.

International tours have taken him to Lebanon, Greece, Turkey, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, Poland, China, Corea, USA and South America.

As a soloist, Wilhem Latchoumia has performed with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France (Pascal Rophé, Joshua Dos Santos), the Orchestre National de Lille (Paul Polivnik, Benjamin Shwartz, Yann Robin), the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire (Grieg's concerto, 2017) and the Orchestre National de Lyon (Peter Rundel) in Unsuk Chin's piano concerto - which he had premiered in France with the Orchestre National de Lille (Jean Deroyer). He played Strauss' Burlesque with the Orchestre National d'Ile-de-France (Ainars Rubikis) and Messiaen's Des Canyons aux étoiles with the Orchestre de Chambre Nouvelle Aquitaine (Jean-François Heisser). He has also performed under the direction of Gilbert Amy, Peter Csaba, with the Rostow Symphony orchestra (Andrei Galanov), Liège (Christian Arming), Seoul and Daejean philharmonic orchestras, as well as Teatro Colon orchestra. Among his partners: the Tokyo Sinfonietta (Yasuaki Itakura), the Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain (Daniel Kawka), Ictus, 2e2m, Accroche Note and Linea ensembles, violist Christophe Desjardins, Diotima and TanaQuartets, pianists Marie Vermeulin, Vanessa Wagner and Cédric Tiberghien...

Wilhem Latchoumia is one of the most sought-after performers: his passion for contemporary music has led him to collaborate with composers such as Pierre Boulez, Philippe Hersant, Gérard Pesson, Gilbert Amy, Pierre Jodlowski, Franck Bedrossian, Samuel Sighicelli, Michael Jarrell, Jonathan Harvey, Oscar Bianchi, Francesco Filidei, Karl Naegelen, José Manuel Lopez-Lopez, Mikel Urquiza... He has inspired and performed a new production supported by the Fondation Royaumont around John Cage's Daughters of the lonesome Isle, which toured in France and abroad. He loves taking part in choreographic projects; the next one will be Achterland, a production by Rosas / Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker."

-Wilhem Latchoumia Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:


1. Crazy Nigger (1980)


1. Crazy Nigger (1980)


1. Crazy Nigger (1980)


1. Evil Nigger (1979)

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