I. Adagio con moto (8:21)
IIa. Allegro moderato (1:51)
IIb. Allegro “In the Inn” (4:24)
III. Largo (7:29)
IVa. Quarter-note=88-100 (1:14)
IVb. Allegro (3:26)
V. Andante maestoso (11:29)
Timed to coincide with the centennial celebration of Copland’s birth, this recording couples two major – and somewhat neglected – works of 20th century American piano repertoire. It is the first disc to pair these two works, recorded in glorious sound, making a conspicuous contribution to their sparse recorded history.
Copland’s Piano Fantasy, a commission from the Juilliard School, took five years to complete. A monumental and evocative work written utilizing 12-tone techniques, the Fantasy is a significant departure from the ballets and film scores which Copland wrote in the previous decade to great acclaim. Because of its length and complex structure, it is rarely performed; yet its musical rewards are great.
Charles Ives’ Piano Sonata #1 is also rarely performed, unlike his popular second “Concord” sonata. It is a passionate piece which some Ives scholars consider to be his most personal. Ives never completed editing the score (which was finally realized by Lou Harrison), and its improvisatory nature allows for flexibility in decisions to be made by the performer. This disc was recorded at Yale, particularly appropriate as Ives was a Connecticut native who graduated from Yale, where all of his manuscripts are now held.
The disc is recorded in brilliant high-resolution 41/24 sound.