William Bland: Piano Sonatas
Kevin Gorman, piano
Fanfare (5 stars)
Bland's virtuoso sonatas present a fascinating blend of arch romanticism, piano heroics, and passionate utterance. Premiere recordings by the young American pianist, Kevin Gorman.
"Both sonatas are works of real substance and beauty. I found myself returning to these sonatas for pleasure long after I had done the required listening for purposes of review." - Henry Fogel, Fanfare (5 stars)
"Compelling music, superbly performed. Bland's gift for melody and propensity for rich, almost orchestral keyboard writing evoke the tradition of the Russian Romantics. The recording is excellent, a marvelous presentation of the Romantic piano in full flight." - Ken Meltzer (Fanfare)
"The range of expressive tools is vast. It's grand music, with grand playing too from Gorman. It is fervently to be hoped that this series continues." - Colin Clarke (Fanfare)
"Why isn’t William Bland better known? He demonstrates a thorough, self-assured technical mastery from both a compositional and a pianistic perspective, and he has a unique, compelling, personal voice. The power of these works comes not quite from their lyricism, nor from their thorniness, but from the seemingly inevitable way in which the one transforms into the other. I am reminded of the filmmaker David Lynch’s work, in which seemingly idealized, saccharine portrayals of small-town America coexist with uncannily disturbing images of trauma, corruption, and decay. Neither side of the coin is more nor less real than the other, and neither is ironic or pastiche." - Myron Silberstein (Fanfare)