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American Classics: Barber & Copland / Sean Kennard

American Classics: Barber & Copland / Sean Kennard

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For his debut album on Delos, the brilliant emerging virtuoso Sean Kennard has chosen a captivating program featuring solo piano music by two of America’s most iconic composers: Samuel Barber and Aaron Copland. While neither composer’s body of work includes a great many pieces for solo piano, each has left a legacy of superb piano compositions to memorable effect.

Of the five works on this album, Barber’s finger-twisting Sonata for Piano and Copland’s stunning Piano Variations stand as enduring masterpieces of twentieth-century American piano music. Both pieces incorporate broad spectrums of modernist musical language and styles, as well as degrees of difficulty that only the finest and most technically accomplished artists can master. And most of the shorter pieces offer delightfully evocative treatments of musical Americana.


A triumphant debut from a brilliant young pianist.

America still produces superb pianists and one is Sean Kennard, whose first recording this is. (He studied at Juilliard with Boris Berman and Richard Goode.) Not only is Kennard’s technique flawless, his understanding of the music’s expressive requirements is second to none… This marvellous debut disc is a triumph.

-- Limelight

Sean Kennard places familiar works by Barber and Copland in a mutually illuminating dialogue. This achievement in programming is matched by very fine playing indeed. His penetrating sense of structure in Barber’s Piano Sonata and Copland’s Piano Variations is balanced by an infectious sense of fun in Copland’s 4 Piano Blues.

-- Fanfare

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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 1
    • Release Date:
    • Label: Delos
    • UPC/Barcode: 013491355429
    • Item Number: DE 3554