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Pieces of Eight


ECU Pianist's Recordings Celebrate Piano Composer

By Ercia Plouffe Lazure

The recorded performances of an East Carolina University piano professor have been released to commemoratework of the classical pianist, William Gillock.


In January 2008, Alfred Publishing Co., one of the largest publishers of piano music in the world, released ECU pianist Henry Doskey’s recording of the 24 pieces that comprise “Lyric Preludes in Romantic Style” in conjunction with the new, 50th anniversary edition of the work.

Before he died in 1993, Gillock designated Doskey “the authoritative interpreter, and judge of authenticity of stylistic treatment” of his work. Doskey, a friend and former student of the famed piano composer, recorded “Preludes” and five other CDs on his own label, Green Mill Recordings of Greenville. In all Doskey has recorded more than 350 titles of Gillock’s work.

Originally released in 1958, “Preludes” became widely used by piano teachers, and Doskey was among those who received a copy of the composer’s notes about each of the 24 pieces. In the notes, Gillock offers both technical advice as well as thoughts about the mood of the piece. The mood of “Forest Murmurs,” for example, “is one of warm contentment with a hint of regret… this feeling is best expressed by holding back slightly, while playing with a bit more expression.”

Composition notes, said Doskey, are not common among composers, but can be invaluable to both students and teachers trying to tackle the work. Gillock had led many workshops, said Doskey, and would distribute the notes for “Preludes” in anticipation of questions about the work.

“Each of those paragraphs is a little mini-lesson,” Doskey said, “especially for those who are not experienced teachers or who might not have a good grasp of his style.”


This page originally appeared in the Feb. 29, 2008 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at http://www.ecu.edu/news/poe/Arch.cfm.