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Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review

20 December 2022

Reed Tetzloff, Concord, Ives Sonata No. 2 "Concord, Mass. 1840-60," Beethoven Sonata No. 31 Op. 110

Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review

Charles  Ives' "Concord, Mass" was revolutionary and iconoclastic when he wrote  it, no doubt the first really important modern solo piano work last  century, fiendishly difficult in its extensive clusters, advanced  harmonic underpinning and alternatingly volatile and beautifully  mysterious arcs that require a complete pianist of extraordinary  interpretive abilities. In many ways Beethoven's ravishingly expressive  Sonata No. 31 Op. 110 was an earlier counterpart for its uncompromising  strength and beauty.

In  Reed Tetzloff we have a giant of a pianist fully prepared to take on  the formidable challenges of a superlative reading of both works.

The  Concord when first entering the potential repertoire of concert  pianists in the later '40s-early '50s had a continual flow that needed  an exceptional sense of the musicality of the phrasings. Not everyone  could meet the continual demands of the work in those early days of Ives  musical scholarship. Far from it. As time went by there were ever more  fully thought-out performances and we now have with this release one of  the real milestones in Sonata realizations. Each movement seems aptly  weighted proportionately and the through-phrasing sounds convincing  every minute as all holds steady and true as part of the overall  journey.

Beethoven's  Sonata No. 31 is the unexpectedly perfect foil for the Ives. Tetzloff  makes it fully resonant and projecting and thereby shows how both works  parallel one another and invite comparison when performed with equal  vigor and devotion, as is the case with this wonderful program.

The  Ives most definitely reflects how this music seems at last fully of our  times, readily understood and beautifully lyrical in the way we now  hear such things in an ideal situation. Bravo!

by  Grego Applegate Edwards


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