TOPIC: "what 20th-century composers did Frank like?"

When I was working on the piano reductions Frank asked about the possibility of doing one for Mo 'N Herb's Vacation. I was convinced that the effort would be wasted; the piece was just too thick and too fast to do right on two pianos. He had already had me do Sinister Footwear for only one piano and it didn't work at all. "You lose all the harmony" he said, which was true. It was an implication of the harmonic structures at best, and ultimately not at all satisfying. That's when we started doing the two-piano reductions. So I felt I knew what Frank would consider a successful piano version of an orchestra piece, and didn't think that Mo 'N Herb would work out to his satisfaction. He made a comment like "How about if we slow it way down? It would be so weird, like a ballad from Mars". But that was not seriously considered. But then he said "Why not do it for three pianos? Morton Feldman has a beautiful piece for three pianos". We never did it, but that comment revealed that Frank was familiar with at least some Feldman, and had liked what he heard.