For his debut album on Delos, the brilliant emerging virtuoso Sean Kennard has chosen a captivating program featuring solo piano music by two of America’s most iconic composers: Samuel Barber and Aaron Copland. While neither composer’s body of work includes a great many pieces for solo piano, each has left a legacy of superb piano compositions to memorable effect. Of the five works on this album, Barber’s finger-twisting Sonata for Piano and Copland’s stunning Piano Variations stand as enduring masterpieces of twentieth-century American piano music. Both pieces incorporate broad spectrums of modernist musical language and styles, as well as degrees of difficulty that only the finest and most technically accomplished artists can master. AndRead more most of the shorter pieces offer delightfully evocative treatments of musical Americana.
America still produces superb pianists and one is Sean Kennard, whose first recording this is. (He studied at Juilliard with Boris Berman and Richard Goode.) Not only is Kennard’s technique flawless, his understanding of the music’s expressive requirements is second to none – and that includes Horowitz, who recorded Barber’s Sonata. This marvellous debut disc is a triumph.