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Piano sonorities

BASIL RAMSEY hears
American piano music


Virgin    5 61928 2

American Piano Sonatas. (c) 2001 Virgin Classics

 

By isolating several examples of piano sonatas written by American composers during the last century a useful purpose is served, firstly in gathering good specimens and secondly in gauging their relationship to works by other contemporaries.

On this two-record set are found representative sonatas by Charles Ives, Charles Griffes, Roger Sessions, Aaron Copland, Elliott Carter, and Samuel Barber. I don't know the extent of 'Americanism' that might be deduced by music lovers. It varies considerably, and was less evident as the last century progressed and young musicians found their way to Europe in student years.

Peter Lawson's playing keenly drives rhythmic vivacity as a powerful element within the ambience of much 20th century piano music. Likewise, the sonorities that provide variety, and are often unique to the keyboard, give scope to composers in search of characteristics. In all, this project gives a strong boost to American composers who have not forsaken the piano as a viable medium for music.

 

Copyright © 28 November 2001 Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK

 

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