American Tonal

Jeanne Golan (piano)

Catalog #: TROY0324
Release Date: February 1, 1999
Format: Digital

Composing two generations later, Daron Hagen follows a path similar to Samuel Barber. Like Barber, Hagen is a product of the Curtis Institute and revels in the world of vocal writing. As Hagen is himself a pianist, Qualities of Light is a uniquely personal and demanding work. In writing for the instrument that has always been his musical voice, Hagen employs a generous array of pianistic gestures and styles for this nocturnal journey. As its title suggests, Qualities of Light has a strong sense of tonality. In this case, however, the tonality has more overtly painterly connotations. The hues and casts of ever-changing shadows and darkness through the course of the night provided Hagen with the impetus for this piece, as they occur during hours with which the insomniac composer is well acquainted.


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Track Listing

Title Composer Performer
Sonata for Piano, Op. 26 Samuel Barber Jeanne Golan, piano
Nocturne, Op. 33 Samuel Barber Jeanne Golan, piano
Ballade, Op. 46 Samuel Barber Jeanne Golan, piano
Qualities of Light Daron Hagen Jeanne Golan, piano


  • "Subtitled "American Tonal,"this attractive program offers one old and one new composer of romantic American piano music, vividly recorded and sensitively played by Jeanne Golan. The disc opens with a lyrical, reflective reading of Barber's sonata, not as tempestuous as Horowitz or Cliburn, who deliver a hair-raising frisson at the end of the fugue that this pianist does not attempt. For an atmospheric, thoroughly musical, non-bangy version, this one is hard to beat. Barber's exquisite Nocturne and moody Ballade also come off nicely, with warm tone and phrasing. Qualities of Light is a dazzling piece of impressionism by pianist-composer Daryl Hagen that should prove a welcome addition to the repertory. It will please audiences with its colorful accessibility and pianists for its virtuosic writing."

    – American Record Guide

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