Kirchner, Shifrin, Babbitt & Bartok: Piano Works
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL461     Release Date: 2011-04-15
Robert Taub, piano

Leon Kirchner's only Sonata (1948) is a highly chromatic work, a mosaic of short, contrasting motives, characterized by driving rhythms, quasi-improvisational passages, and a uniquely expressive lyricism. A slow introduction (Lento) leads to a rhythmically propulsive allegro (Doppio movimento), whose last section (Quasi adagio) serves as a bridge to the freely developed variations of the Adagio. The Finale restates motives of the preceding two movements before concluding with a modified recapitulation.

Responses (1973) is one of Seymour Shifrin's two solo piano pieces. The second and third parts are successively slower than the first, and the fourth returns to the original tempo. Certain pitch complexes act as referential centers throughout the work, and dramatic contrasts are provided by the juxtaposition of lyric phrases with others that are pointillistic in nature, and by terse fragmentary material accompanying principal sustained lines.

Milton Babbitt writes:

"Three Compositions for Piano were selected to form a connected set, from a number of piano pieces written on my return to composition after a war-enforced hiatus of a half-dozen years. Therefore, they embody ideas about music which evolved but could not be fulfilled compositionally during that period, particularly ideas about interpretations of serial order in and as musical structure. This applies not only when order is interpreted as pitch-ordering but in those other musical dimensions realistically susceptible to linear ordering, and, above all, when temporality itself, i.e. rhythm, is so structured."

Bela Bartók's only Sonata (1926) is his most extended composition for solo piano. The first movement (Allegro moderato), often described as "barbaric" in feeling, is in classical sonata- allegro form. The second movement (Sostenuto e pesante) is free and rhapsodic. The last movement (Allegro molto) is a rondo.


This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available as a burn-on-demand CD (CD-R) or download in MP3/320, FLAC or WAV formats. CD-Rs come in a protective sleeve; no print booklet or jewel case included. Liner notes are accessible via the link above.

Robert Taub

Kirchner, Shifrin, Babbitt & Bartok: Piano Works

MP3/320 $7.99
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Track Listing

Sonata: I. Lento-Doppio movimento-Quasi adagio; II. Adagio
Leon Kirchner
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Sonata: III. Allegro risoluto
Leon Kirchner
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Responses
Seymour Shifrin
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Three Compositions For Piano: I. Quarter-note = 108
Milton Babbitt
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Three Compositions For Piano: II. Quarter-note = 54
Milton Babbitt
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Three Compositions For Piano: III. Quarter-note = 126
Milton Babbitt
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Piano Sonata, Sz.80: I. Allegro moderato
Bela BartÌ_k
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Piano Sonata, Sz.80: II. Sostenuto e pesante
Bela BartÌ_k
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Piano Sonata, Sz.80: III. Allegro molto
Bela BartÌ_k
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