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Wednesday, May 17, 2023

William Bland, Sonata No. 9 "Spring," Nouveau Rag, Sonata No. 10, Kevin Gorman

William Bland, a New Music composer, walks among us (b 1947) and a recent album of his piano compositions gives us reasons to be happy about that. On this compilation, a second volume of the series, Kevin Gorman poetically performs the Sonata No. 9 "Spring," the Nouveau Rag and the Sonata No. 10 (Bridge CD 9580).

The music is substantial, lyrical and worth hearing. It has perhaps a residue of a Schumann, the further evolved expression of post-Lisztian voice, and perhaps, the ring of cascading Scriabin, only most times more thoroughly post-Romantic, a sometimes attractively strong shading of old Jazz and Ragtime especially in the Rag piece here, and a harmonic scaffolding that sometimes identifies it as very current I suppose you could say. As you listen repeatedly it all comes out as memorable and well invented, compositions with a full exposition of talented inventive pianisms and melodic-harmonic contentfulness. The final 10th Sonata gives us an especially exciting virtuosity that brims over with expression and sincerity. Give this your ears and see what you think.

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