1. Walker: Five Piano Sonatas / Beck - ArkivMusic

Walker: Five Piano Sonatas / Beck

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George Walker is one of the few leading American composers of the 20th century to produce as many as five piano sonatas. Taken together, they securely chart a lifetime of stylistic change. Walker managed many other feats, a number of them connected to being the first Black person to break through various glass ceilings: the first to be accepted at the Curtis Institute of Music, the first to study with Nadia Boulanger, and the first to win the Pulitzer Prize in Music. Walker is also one of the only major composer-pianists to have recorded worthy performances of virtuoso standard repertoire including Beethoven’s “Emperor Concerto” and the Brahms second piano concerto.


"This beautifully played (and beautifully recorded) set of George Walker's piano sonatas by pianist Steven Beck is especially valuable. The sonatas trace Walker's development as a composer, from a sort of post-Copland style through an approach to serialism (he only rarely adopted it wholesale, but the mark of Webernian economy is all over the second and third sonatas here), back to a broader free atonality deepened by rigor."

Walker generally resisted the use of African American vernacular material in his essentially modernist style, but he might then introduce it when it is least expected, in entirely original ways. Anyone interested in this giant of African American classical music but not knowing where to start could easily choose this release."

--AllMusicGuide.com (James Manheim)


Product Description:

  • Release Date: January 07, 2022

  • Catalog Number: BCD9554

  • UPC: 090404955426

  • Label: Bridge Records

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Period: 20th Century

  • Composer: George Walker

  • Performer: Steven Beck