18 Songs, 1 Hour 18 Minutes


Apple Digital Master


Mastered for iTunes

Ratings and Reviews

2.8 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 Ratings

Boolez ,

Fine for what it is

Griffes was the American "impressionist". Hyperion gives us a survey of his piano output with Ohlsson at the helm. Ohlsson is a able advocate of this music, but Griffes' music lacks the sophistcation, percision, and depth of a Debusy or Revel. It's a well played courisoity album, but it doesn't merit anyone to rush out and get it. If you have some spare change, it still is a decent album to have in the collection, just to say that you have it. -Bz

pno4tay ,

An American master gone too soon, brilliantly illuminated

I don't know which color "Boolez" finished in the John W. Schaum Piano Course, but Charles Tomlinson Griffes is certainly a minor master. The Piano Sonata is one of the great American piano sonatas, possibly second only to Barber. "The White Peacock" and "The Fountain of the Acqua Paola" certainly compare to anything Debussy and Ravel wrote, with inflections that certainly stamp Griffes as an individual. The Roman Sketches hold together very well as a set, and those who wish to explore literature off of the Hit Parade would benefit from the Barcarolle or Scherzo from the admittedly early and not totally characteristic Fantasy Pieces.

Garrick Ohlsson plays with sensitivity, clarity, and absolute technical mastery. These piece do have their technically awkward moments, but Ohlsson prevails, brilliantly illuminating this music and raising it up to the level at which it deserves to be heard. One might want to overlook the early, early posthumous pieces, but iTunes gives us that option when making playlists. But don't overlook the enigmatic Three Preludes - they are unique in his output and show a direction his music may have taken had he lived longer - a direction in which the Sonata starts to point, a direction away from the Debussy and Ravel to which he is too often compared.

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