ADOLPHUS HAILSTORK (b.1941): Piano Sonata No. 2, 8 Variations on "Shalom Chaverim", 2 Scherzos (Andrey Kasparov), Trio Sonata, Ignis Fatuus (Oksana Kutsyshyn), Sonata for 2 Pianos (Invencia Piano Duo).
Catalogue Number: 07L096
Reference: TROY 1112
Description: The showy, virtuosic Scherzos stand rather apart from the other works here, which largely avoid their level of dissonance or display. They employ some bitonal gestures, and some emphatically repeated motifs slightly suggest Messiaen. The impressionistic, gossamer Ignis Fatuus and the gentle Variations, also with some bitonality and harmonic ambiguity, are more straightforward pianistically, though just as effective. The sonata opens with a strident fanfare, marked 'recitative', which gives way to a vigorous allegro, somewhat suggestive of Prokofiev. The slow movement is tough and spare, unexpectedly breaking out into a brief passionate climax before subsiding again to be superseded by the mysterious, fiery finale. The two-piano sonata explores irregular meters in two vigorous, insistent outer movements while the central adagietto incorporates elements of blues and spirituals with the same melodic grace that infuses the Variations.