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05/01/2015

Manwarren Carries On Tradition of Piano-Playing With New CD

Quick Facts

 "Youthful Passion and Fantasy" is available on iTunes, Amazon.com and the Americus record label.
 A signing and release party is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 13, at 4 p.m. at Steinway Gallery of Charlotte.

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ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — Matthew Manwarren hopes his new album, “Youthful Passion and Fantasy,” will carry on the tradition of piano-playing to the next generation.

“It’s a time when the art of piano-playing is falling out of vogue,” said Manwarren, professor of music at Winthrop University. “My goal is to promote the art of piano-playing and its tradition…This is a vehicle to pass it on to the next generation.”

“Youthful Passion and Fantasy” is tradition at its best. Manwarren chose two pieces near and dear to his heart: Robert Schumann’s “Fantasy in C Major” and Johannes Brahms’ “Sonata No. 3.” Both are early works of both composers, he explained, and both were written at the height of the romantic period, when pieces focused on passion and love. The two friends were inspired by their shared love for one woman—Clara, Schumann’s wife, a celebrated composer and pianist in her own right.

Manwarren chose the pieces because he said they constitute two of the greatest pinnacles of the piano repertoire, calling them “tremendously difficult works.”

“Youthful Passion and Fantasy,” released on the Americus label, was recorded last November in New York City. Production was made possible with grants from the S.C. Arts Commission, the York County Arts Council and a start-up campaign on Indiegogo, a website that helps entrepreneurs raise money for their projects. The Americus label has submitted it for a Grammy nomination.

Manwarren also plans to host a release party later this year. A CD signing party and brief concert have been planned at the Steinway Gallery of Charlotte on Sunday, Sept. 13, at 4 p.m.

Manwarren fondly remembered the instruction of his past wonderful teachers. Though he’s played Brahms and Schumann for years, he said you never feel like you’ve truly mastered them.

“I’ve spent years performing with these works and growing with them,” he said. “They are not pieces you play one time and move on from. … They resonate with me. When you feel like you’ve truly mastered them, you may as well give it up. I hope to be performing these pieces 10 years from now.”

“Youthful Passion and Fantasy” is available on iTunes, the Americus Records site and Amazon.com.

For more information, contact Nicole Chisari, communications coordinator, at 803/323-2236 or smithne@winthrop.edu.


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