"Varied Air" - Charles Ives Piano Music (2CD)

Album of the Month — Gramophone's Best Choice - Concord Sonata

“Varied Air” – Charles Ives Piano Music

The solo piano music of Ives represents an extraordinary achievement. “Experimental” is a word often associated with it. But “experimental” in what sense? Certainly he was exploring a wholly unique and personal style. Ives’ music is by turns, exploratory, powerful, sensitive, eccentric and transcendental always wholly consistent within its own, sometimes highly unusual terms. These […]

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What The Critics Are Saying…

There is a wide variety of musical styles presented here, including jazz, avant-garde classical and simple musings. I was impressed by the playing of these pieces, which typically sounds extremely complex and technically demanding. The result is impressive and enjoyable.

” —John France, Music Web International

Fox responds to a number of intriguing stimuli from art to mathematical equations [and] explores every aspect of the instrument’s capabilities in terms of pitch, rhythm, and timbre, consistently stretching limits in the pursuit of engaging musical soundscapes. Heather Roche responds to the challenge admirably with tour de force commitment and skill, giving all of these works performances for which any composer would be grateful. The standard of musicianship is exemplary. The disc is a valuable and welcome addition to the Fox discography.

” —Andrew King, BMS Newsletter

Lefanu’s Invisible Places (1986) is a remarkable and succinct clarinet quintet. The major work, however, is Mandala 3. The musical treatment ranges far and wide, but [Lumsdaine’s] style is unified and the effect haunting. This is a work that stays long in the memory. Fine performances throughout by the marvellous group Gemini and the various soloists.

” —Guy Rickards, Klassisk

Blunt is a refined and approachable composer working in a tonal idiom not a little influenced by the harmonic ambiguities of Scriabin. The substantial, three-movement concerto is reminiscent of Prokofiev, Rachmaninov and quite a lot of late Scriabin. The four-movement symphony may be relatively brief, but it belongs firmly in the British symphonic tradition.

” —Reviews Editor, Records International

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