GEOFFREY ALLEN (1927-2021): Complete Piano Sonatas. Piano Sonata no. 1 Op. 5/24 (1959/1995), Piano Sonata no. 2 ‘Sonata Espanola’, Op. 14 (1989/1990), Piano Sonata no. 3, Op. 25 (1995-6), Piano Sonata no. 4, Op. 29 (1997), Piano Sonata no. 5, Op. 32 (1998), Piano Sonata no. 6, Op. 39 (2000), Piano Sonata no. 7, Op. 40 (2000), Piano Sonata no. 8, Op. 46 (2002), Piano Sonata no. 9, Op. 47 (2002), Piano Sonata No. 10, Op. 52 (2003), Piano Sonata no. 11, Op. 55 (2004), Piano Sonata no. 12, Op. 66 (2006), Piano Sonata no. 13 Op 73 (2009), Piano Sonata no. 14, Op. 77 (2011), Rhapzonata, Op. 51 (2003), Piano Sonata no. 15, Op. 80 (2012), Piano Sonata no. 16, Op. 86 (2015), Piano Sonata no. 17, Op. 97 (2019). Murray McLachlan, piano.
Catalogue Number: 07Z019
Description: Is Geoffrey Allen, through his sonatas, the piano world’s equivalent of Havergal Brian? The Essex born composer wrote nearly one hundred works and has made a lasting influence on Australian music through his extraordinary work in publishing as well as in recording. Though not officially trained as a musician, his commitment to composition started in his teenage years and was always of great importance to him. Though Allen started composition in his teenage years and worked steadily throughout his life, albeit with something of a hiatus in the 1960’s and 1980’s due to his professional commitments, it was in his retirement years that his productivity dramatically increased. It is remarkable to note the chronology of sonatas from 1989-2017 and to realise that in his final year Allen was hard at work on Sonata no. 18. To produce such a substantial body of piano music in his so called ‘retirement years’ is deeply impressive, though not entirely without precedent: Havergal Brian (1876-1972) was similar in that he wrote the vast majority of his thirty-two symphonies in the last three decades of his life. “What is really interesting about Geoffrey’s music is that it looks orthodox on the page initially, but is in fact extremely thought-provoking. He has a unique way of combining the familiar with the unfamiliar: Geoffrey’s music is always extremely well crafted and looks deceptively simple on the page, but as soon as you begin to play any phrase from his works you discover that he is always subtly reinventing the wheel! There is subtle originality, extraordinary variety and colourful fascination in his prolific output for the instrument. The recordings...will unquestionably amount to a significant contribution to the development of the 20th/21st century piano sonata.” (Murray McLachlan) (5CDs)