Great American Sonatas

Aaron Copland: Piano Sonata

Leonard Bernstein: Piano Sonata

Lou Harrison: Piano Sonata no. 3; Largo Ostinato

Charles Ives: The Three-Page Sonata; The Celestial Railroad

The disc includes sonatas by four very different American composers writing under very different circumstances: Leonard Bernstein, a charismatic, ambitious all-round musician in his student years; Aaron Copland, an established master at the height of his powers; Lou Harrison, an inveterate experimentalist setting himself a new problem; and Charles Ives, a dogged individualist insisting on his own way of doing things. In each case, the composer chose not to fit his music into conventional forms, but to rethink the whole idea of the sonata. America is after all the land of the clean sheet, the fresh start – of making things fresh, exciting and new.

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