“Great American Sonatas”LOU HARRISON (1917-2003): Piano Sonata No. 3, Largo Ostinato, CHARLES IVES (1874-1954): Three-Page Sonata, The Celestial Railroad, LEONARD BERNSTEIN (1918-1990): Piano Sonata, AARON COPLAND (1900-1990): Piano Sonata.
Catalogue Number: 02S067
Reference: CD 0163
Description: Harrison's works are early in his output, from 1937 and 1938. There is no gamelan influence, and little of the experimentalism for which he later became known, but as he was a fine pianist the pieces are inventively and idiomatically written for the instrument. A very recognisable feature is the use of limited interval pitch material, lending a strongly defined clarity of line to the textures. The sonata's first movement is austere and muscular; the second is a scherzo and trio based on very limited material, and the third is a long, meandering melodic line presented almost entirely in bare octaves. The Largo is based on a slow, four-note ostinato figure, with delicate melodic tracery above it, to hypnotic effect. Nathan Williamson (piano).