Andrew Rangell plays Ives, Nielsen & John McDonald
Like his fellow symphonist Sibelius, Carl Nielsen produced a significant body of piano music, the most ambitious and striking work being his 1919 Suite, dedicated to the great Artur Schnabel. In his insightful liner notes, pianist Rangell suggests that the six movements of Nielsen's Suite seem close to the multi-movement configurations of Beethoven's last quartets. Three movements weighty and elaborate, three fleeting intermezzi. As in late Beethoven, the writing is 'actively and arrestingly polyphonic.' Ives's kaleidoscopic First Sonata presents huge interpretive challenges for the performer. Experimental, yet containing traditional materials; Epigrammatic, yet projecting a long formal line, the work is a challenge for even the most inspired of interpreters. Pianist Rangell has been playing this work for decades, and his exhilarating and profound interpretation is inspired. John McDonald's 'Meditation' was composed at the request of Andrew Rangell, to be performed on a concert featuring Ives's 'Concord' Sonata. Using a few fragments from Ives, McDonald creates a short 'dreamscape', conjuring the mist over Walden Pond. The brilliant Andrew Rangell's most recent recording for Bridge was a fascinating two disc set devoted to Bach's French Suites and the Schoenberg Suite, Op. 25, (BRIDGE 9281A/B).
Andrew Rangell, piano