The two major works on this recording, Michael Matthews' Of Time and Sky and Alfred Fisher's Six Fantasy Pieces, were paired for their contrasting styles. Both are immediately accessible and intensely expressive, and both end quietly, but there the similarities end. The Matthews work, in three large sections, moves from a knotty, acerbic opening through a contrapuntal, intense lyricism, into a jazzy, delightfully unpredictable jaunt. Then, as themes become more ephemeral and fragmented, the music dreamily drifts out of our consciousness. The Fisher work, in six movements of varying lengths, features the wild shattering and unpredictable (1 and 2), the reflective and sensual (3 and 6), the terse and witty (5) and the sparkling and virtuosic (4).
WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:
"Instantly impressed as a pianist with a big technique, a lively mind, and a passionate commitment to the music.. an excellent recital."
- Joseph Horowitz, New York Times
"Striking clarity (Bach)... Exquisitely sultry playing (Albeniz)... It was playing always musical, always intelligent, and panoramic in scope. There was no question of technique, really; the fire and fury consumed everything in sight. For doing things in his own way, he has few peers."
-Albert Goldberg, Los Angeles Times
1. Of Time and Sky
2-7. Six Fantasy Pieces
8-11. Etudes - Tableaux, Op. 33
12. Piano Sonata no. 7