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Sonatas And Preludes / Diane Walsh

Release Date: 09/28/2004 
Label:  Bridge   Catalog #: 9151   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Samuel BarberSergei ProkofievBéla BartókFrank Martin
Performer:  Diane Walsh
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Originally issued by Music and Arts, Diane Walsh's 1990 recital devoted to four pianistic pillars from the first half of the 20th century receives a new and hopefully permanent lease on life via the Bridge label. Her intelligent virtuosity offers pleasure and insight in equal doses. The disc opens with a satisfying account of the oft-recorded Barber Sonata. Walsh's straight-and-narrow, headlong response to the first movement markedly differs from the febrile rhetoric made famous by Horowitz and his followers, while making the Scherzo sound rounder and gentler than Earl Wild's incisive, deliciously pointed reading. There have been faster and slicker accounts of the Barber Sonata's daunting final fugue (notably Marc-André Hamelin on Read more Hyperion), yet the way Walsh achieves dramatic momentum through judicious voicing and careful dynamic scaling pays lasting rewards.

The harmonic challenges, textural contrasts, and expressive opportunities offered in Frank Martin's 1947-48 set of eight preludes are too compelling for pianists to ignore any longer. Walsh's caring, conscientious pianism lovingly makes their case, although No. 7, the set's longest and most substantial movement, might scale further emotional peaks and valleys with a slower basic tempo. Conversely, a faster, lighter touch, and more assertive trills would have imparted more bite and sardonic profile to the scampering No. 8. Walsh's performances of the Prokofiev and Bartók sonatas boast plenty of rhythmic verve and pinpointed accents while taking into account the piano's non-percussive, lyrical potential. It's good to have this first-rate release back in the catalog, complete with the pianist's excellent annotations. Warmly recommended.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Sonata for Piano in E flat minor, Op. 26 by Samuel Barber
Performer:  Diane Walsh (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949; USA 
Sonata for Piano no 2 in D minor, Op. 14 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Diane Walsh (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; Russia 
Sonata for Piano, Sz 80 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Diane Walsh (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; Budapest, Hungary 
Preludes (8) for Piano by Frank Martin
Performer:  Diane Walsh (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; Switzerland 

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