Martin Perry performs Binkerd & Ives
The featured music on this recording is the first recorded performance of Ives's Concord Sonata in the final edition made by John Kirkpatrick, the legendary pianist who gave the New York premiere of the sonata in 1939. Although the concert was the culmination of an extended period of study for Kirkpatrick, it was only the beginning of his life-long involvement with the Concord Sonata as both a performer and an editor. Over the decades Kirkpatrick made at least five separate editorial efforts at the work. There is a lost edition from the 1930s; an abandoned effort to help Ives with the second edition in the early 1940s; one he prepared in 1953; a retouched copy of the second edition, and a final edition, carried out in the 1980s, a culmination of a life's contemplation of Ives's labyrinthine sonata. This recording by Martin Perry marks the first time that Kirkpatrick's final edition has been commercially released. Kirkpatrick's take on the sonata by the 1980s went far beyond what many would expect from an edition: Ives's thick dissonances have been replaced at points with pure octave and fifths, and the meter of the work has been meticulously notated by Kirkpatrick. In a speech he gave on the occasion of his eightieth birthday Kirkpatrick concluded by saying that he found that Ives's music had arrived at a "strange stopping place" because of his "failure to grant his masterpieces certain rights of their own." Although, strictly speaking, all of the notes in this edition are Ives's, drawing from more than 15 copies of the work which Ives had marked up, Kirkpatrick's own editorial hand guides the Sonata towards a sound that is decidedly romantic compared to Ives's often harsh modernist sound.
Gordon Binkerd (1916-2003): Essays for the Piano IV, V, VI (1976)