Hunter Johnson, Robert Palmer & Jack Beeson: Piano Sonatas
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL464     Release Date: 2011-04-15
Yvar Mikhashoff, piano


HunterJohnson writes:

"My music has been variously described as neo-classic, neo-romantic and nationalist. It may be a combination of all three, but I feel that there is little European influence discernible in my music...

"The general character of this sonata is somewhat rhapsodic and improvisatory, while following the general outlines of traditional sonata form. The opening theme of the first movement is heard several times in the second movement lyrically transformed, and is a principal unifying element. The last movement is a wildly exuberant scherzo, followed by a coda which includes material from all three movements. A thoroughly assimilated jazz flavor is evident in much of this work. In fact, one critic has described it as the apotheosis of the blues...

Robert Palmer writes:

"I finished my First Piano Sonata in 1938 and it was played many times by John Kirkpatrick in the years following. I had planned to write several sonatas and started a second one in 1942, but it seemed too open and tonal for the dissonant norms of the time so I laid it aside. Kirkpatrick saw the opening section, and liking it very much, kept after me to finish it. I did so in 1948 as a two-movement, slow-fast conception. I have used this format many times since.

"After finishing the Second Piano Sonata, I made revisions and simplified the notation through frequent discussions with Kirkpatrick — a kind of dialectical process which was one of the most valuable experiences of my life as a composer. His wisdom and patience seem remarkable as I recall this period now.

Jack Beeson explains:

"At the urging of John Kirkpatrick, and with his aid, the Fifth Sonata was revised in 1951 and then performed repeatedly by Kirkpatrick and other pianists until it fell out of sight and hearing into that special limbo known as 'in publication.' There it remained for twenty years while its benignly resigned publisher informed the fretting composer of the accidental melting of the first set of engraved plates, the dispersal of the second set after the sudden death of its engraver, a threatened bankruptcy, and an occasional misplacement of the manuscript in his cluttered office. The work was eventually rescued by the publication of a facsimile edition of John Kirkpatrick's edited manuscript by the Theodore Presser Co.



This title from the CRI LP back catalog has been carefully transferred from the original master tape, and is now available from New World Records as an on-demand CD (CD-R). It can also be downloaded in MP3/320, FLAC and/or WAV format(s).

We have preserved the original CRI LP catalog number for this title, preceded by the prefix NWCRL, to distinguish previously unavailable back catalog titles from those later reissued by CRI on compact disc.

***Please note that the newly-digitized CRI LP titles are priced at $12.99 (multiples excepted) and are not included in any of the special offers.***

Yvar Mikhashoff

Hunter Johnson, Robert Palmer & Jack Beeson: Piano Sonatas

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $12.99

Track Listing

Piano Sonata: I. Allegro molto e dinamico
Hunter Johnson
Buy
Piano Sonata: II. Andante cantabile
Hunter Johnson
Buy
Piano Sonata: III. Allegro giusto
Hunter Johnson
Buy
Second Piano Sonata: I. Andante con moto tranquillo
Robert Palmer
Buy
Second Piano Sonata: II. Allegro agitato
Robert Palmer
Buy
Fifth Piano Sonata: I. Allegro moderato
Jack Beeson
Buy
Fifth Piano Sonata: II. Adagio
Jack Beeson
Buy
Fifth Piano Sonata: III. Finale
Jack Beeson
Buy