Ives & Barber: Piano Sonatas

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.

CDA67469  62 minutes 14 seconds
‘Hamelin's performance of the Concord Sonata is in the truest sense transcendental, his facility allowing him a cool poetry and lyricism inaccessible to other, more strenuously employed pianist ...
‘Reviewing the Mayer, I described Aimard's recording as 'of unmatchable vividness and panache'; but I must now transfer both the description and the recommendation to Hamelin’ (BBC Music Magazine)
‘Marc-André Hamelin, a pianist of phenomenal virtuosity and insight, never misses a trick. Pierre-Laurant Aimard's Warner account was perceptive enough, but Hamelin characterises the four movements wi ...