For this month’s Featured Recording, we turn to composer Allen Shawn.
Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times writes: “This recent recording offers an immersion into Mr. Shawn’s piano music, played brilliantly by Julia Bartha. The works range from “Aus/From: Four Jazz Preludes,” composed in 1980 for his father, to his Piano Sonata No. 4 (2009), dedicated to Ms. Bartha. You hear lots of styles in Mr. Shawn’s voice: moody atonality, hints of Janacek, thickly chromatic lyricism, Messiaen-like cluster chords, rhythmic bursts that out-pummel Prokofiev. Yet Mr. Shawn’s own voice comes through in the deliberate, skillful, personal way he composes these pieces. And they are dazzlingly conceived for the piano. But none of the challenges daunt the impressive Ms. Bartha.”
Shawn and Bartha in 2012.
Two Galaxy Music publications appear on the recording.