Johana Harris plays Roy Harris
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR818     Release Date: 1999-01-01
Johana Harris, piano

The performances on this CD by legendary pianist Johana Harris are taken from recording sessions carried out during the late summer and early fall of 1987 at the Hollywood-based Crystal Studios of engineer-producer, Andrew Berliner. Over a period of three months the 74-year-old Johana committed to tape more than a hundred works, covering a time span of some five centuries, by thirty-five composers, to which were added a pair of extended improvisation sequences (one of her long time specialties). The anthology as a whole was aimed at showcasing both the extent of her repertoire and her remarkable artistry which had flowered over a period of some sixty years. It was also a reflection of Johana’s discriminating taste and very personal approach to programming. All of the music meant a great deal to her though at the sessions she chose to record only particular movements of works. Remarkably, the ambitious project was begun without a particular label in mind for release. MCA Classics showed interest in a CD release of the series but got only as far as bringing out twenty-eight tracks of Bach and Debussy. The resulting two CDs, however, enjoyed a regrettably short catalogue life for hardly six months following their release, MCA opted out of the classical music field.

To represent 20th century music of the Western Hemisphere in her anthology, Johana Harris chose the work of five composers, three of whom appear on the present disc. She began with the handful of solo piano pieces by her marital and professional partner of forty-three years, Roy Harris (1898–1979), one of the key figures on the creative scene in American symphonic music during the middle third of the Twentieth Century (along with Hanson, Copland, Piston, Barber, and Schuman). Two of the other composers represented in the collection, John Edmunds (1913–1986) and Robert Evett (1922–1975), studied with Roy Harris at Cornell University and Colorado College respectively, while the third, John Heggie (b. 1961) was a piano student with Johana and became her second husband in 1981. (Since Johana’s death in 1995 he has been making a name for himself as a remarkably gifted composer for the voice.) The one composer chosen from south of the border was Mexico’s Carlos Chávez (1899–1978). On this CD, we have the Roy Harris works, plus the single pieces by Evett and Chávez.

This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available for order 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).

Johana Harris

Johana Harris plays Roy Harris

MP3/320 $9.99
FLAC $9.99
WAV $9.99
CD $15.99

Track Listing

Sonata Op. 1: I. Prelude
Roy Harris
Buy
Sonata Op. 1: II. Andante ostinato
Roy Harris
Buy
Sonata Op. 1: III. Scherzo; Coda
Roy Harris
Buy
Little Suite: Bells
Roy Harris
Buy
Little Suite: Sad News
Roy Harris
Buy
Little Suite: Children at Play
Roy Harris
Buy
Little Suite: Slumber
Roy Harris
Buy
American Ballads (Set 1): I. The Streets of Laredo
Roy Harris
Buy
American Ballads (Set 1): II. The Wayfaring Stranger
Roy Harris
Buy
American Ballads (Set 1): III. The Bird
Roy Harris
Buy
American Ballads (Set 1): IV. Black is The Color
Roy Harris
Buy
American Ballads (Set 1): V. Cod Liver Ile
Roy Harris
Buy
Piano Suite in Three Movements: I. Occupation
Roy Harris
Buy
Piano Suite in Three Movements: II. Contemplation
Roy Harris
Buy
Toccata for Piano
Roy Harris
Buy
Sonata No. 2: Chorale en rondeau
Robert Evett
Buy
Sonatina for Piano
Carlos Chávez
Buy

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