DINOS CONSTANTINIDES (b.1929): Piano Works - Reflections IX (first recording), Theme and Variations, The Heavens are Telling, Sonata, Dreams, Earth and Heavens, Suite for a Young Man.
Catalogue Number: 04U048
Reference: CRC 3679
Description: Like the concertante works that we offered a few years ago (08P070), this attractive program demonstrates the composer's versatility and originality, with an even greater range of expression in these piano works. All are firmly based in tonality, and the inflections of Greek traditional music that find their way into the composer's style are only really apparent in some of the Variations, which is a fine and varied set in a predominantly neo-romantic style. The substantial four-movement Sonata is a work of considerable stature, made of rather sterner stuff than the other pieces here. Still largely tonal, its chromatic excursions take it into more dissonant territory than anything else here, and when the composer throws in a climactic cluster or two they achieve genuine shock value. The characteristically evocative movement titles - Impressions, Madness, Dream, and Resignation - roughly conform to the expository opening, scherzo, intermezzo and allegro-finale of a traditional Romantic sonata. The pieces with mystical, reflective or religious titles are warmly tonal and atmospheric, The Heavens are Telling having the character of a solemn chorale, while the Suite wittily explores the impetuosity and inexperience of youth, in an idiom that recalls sundry Debussy preludes. The piano writing is of a high standard throughout, admitting ample opportunity for keyboard virtuosity. Froso Ktistaki (piano).