America’s two greatest twentieth-century piano sonatas are here given predictably stunning performances by Marc-André Hamelin. This is the pianist’s second recording of the Ives ‘Concord Sonata’, a piece he has played for over twenty years in performances that have often been regarded as definitive. As his thoughts on this landmark work matured, Marc became very keen to revisit the work in the studio in this 50th anniversary year of Ives’s death.
The Barber is an apt if unusual coupling. Premiered by Horowitz, with a blisteringly virtuosic final fugue written specially at his suggestion, this is one of only a few modern piano works to have become a genuine audience favourite.