In the first of two volumes devoted to the complete piano works of Paul Bowles, the music is grouped cyclically, stylistically or thematically — sometimes by the composer himself and at times by Invencia Piano Duo.
Volume 1 includes Andrey Kasparov’s piano duet arrangements of Bowles’ three songs for voice and piano. Bowles composed over one hundred songs in English, Spanish, and French, some as part of his extensive output of incidental music. “April Fool Baby” (ca. 1944) is a nonsensically comical poem by Gertrude Stein, a writer who was a major influence on Bowles. “Baby, Baby” (1946) – also known as “Sleeping Song” – is a lullaby from music Bowles wrote for Maxine Wood’s play, On Whitman Avenue, about the racial prejudice a black family faces when moving into a predominantly white neighborhood.
Known to many as an influential and innovative author, Bowles was also a brilliant composer in his own right, among the select few capable of lasting contributions in both literary and musical artforms. Bowles’ wit, lyricism, humor and charm are on full display in these recorded gems.