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Ives, Wright: Piano Sonatas / Marc-andré Hamelin

Release Date: 12/08/1992 
Label:  New World Records   Catalog #: 80378   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Maurice WrightCharles Ives
Performer:  Marc-André Hamelin
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 58 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

I note with horror that the Concord Sonata has hitherto been unrepresented in our CD catalogue. How can it be that the most authentic voice of musical transcendentalism has thus been neglected? Admittedly it would help if one of the socalled great pianists was to take up the cause, but there are some superb recordings in the back catalogues which should surely have been resurrected before now.

Anyhow, Marc-Andre Hamelin, a 27-year-old Canadian, is first in the field, and a fine job he has made of it. At first I wondered whether ''Emerson'' had enough impetus, but then the drive comes, and contrasting with it a feel for harmonic implications which opens up the world of Ives's intensely poetic inscapes. ''Hawthorne'' on the
Read more other hand seems a little too fast and generalized in the early stages, but then displays a marvellously controlled response to the alternation of maelstrom and mysticism and culminates in a dazzling display of fireworks. All the qualities of ''The Alcotts'' are impressively realized—its reverential homeliness, its majesty and power, and despite one or two slightly rushed fences Hamelin's empathy is no less marked in ''Thoreau'', that uncannily moving expression of profound wonder.

If CBS were to restore Kirkpatrick or DG Szidon, it would be worthwhile going into more detail. But for the moment the only requirement is to welcome the dedication and imaginative freedom which Hamelin brings to this great work.

Maurice Wright's Sonata of 1982 has shades of Ives in the rhythmic declamations of its opening movement and the lonely, rotating stillness of the second. It is music of strongly delineated and rather personal emotional states, I can't yet get it to add up to a specially memorable experience but it certainly merits its place on the disc. No biographical information in the booklet, but The New Grove Dictionary of American Music (Macmillan: 1986) tells us that Wright was born in 1949 studied with Iain Hamilton, Mario Davidovsky Vladimir Ussachevsky and others and joined the composition faculty at Temple University in 1980.'

-- Gramophone [9/1989]
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Works on This Recording

Sonata for Piano by Maurice Wright
Performer:  Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1982; USA 
Date of Recording: 01/1987 
Venue:  Alexander Hall, Princeton University 
Length: 14 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Sonata for Piano no 2 "Concord, Mass 1840-60" by Charles Ives
Performer:  Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911-1915; USA 
Date of Recording: 07/1988 
Venue:  RCA Studio A, New York City 
Length: 43 Minutes 9 Secs. 

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