Beyond The Sound
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These iconic American composers could have no better advocate than pianist Heidi Louise Williams.

Heidi Louise Williams performs piano sonatas by American composers with the oldest work written in 1919 and the most recent in 1991. Charles Tomlinson Griffes, George Walker, Carlisle Floyd, and Samuel Barber all used their art to explore imponderable realities that could be more fully accessed within the realm of music. These artists absorbed a variety of musical languages into their own, foreshadowing, in many cases, the postmodernist aesthetic of stylistic coexistence. From Walker's inclusion of folk tunes to Barber's gripping sincerity, from Floyd's devotion to human narratives to Griffes' persuasive fusion of styles, these works rely in some way or another on the power of human empathy, nobly representing the United States as an essentially diverse nation. Praised by critics, pianist Heidi Louise Williams has appeared in solo and collaborative performances across North America and internationally, having won numerous awards. A graduate of Peabody, she is on the faculty at Florida State University. This is her second solo album for Albany Records.
Charles Tomlinson Griffes, composer
Sonata for Piano, A. 85
Heidi Louise Williams (piano)

George Walker, composer
Piano Sonata No. 1
Heidi Louise Williams (piano)

Carlisle Floyd, composer
Sonata for Piano
Heidi Louise Williams (piano)

Samuel Barber, composer
Sonata for Piano, Op. 26
Heidi Louise Williams (piano)

"The music on this collection of four American piano sonatas is so engrossing, one wonders why the Barber Piano Sonata is the only one in the genre to gain public recognition. A considerable advantage for Barber was Vladimir Horowitz, the most renowned pianist in the world, who lent advice during the period of composition and premiered the work at Carnegie Hall in 1950. As a spillover from the piece’s popularity, other mid-century composers were influenced to write their own piano sonatas. Two are included here, by Carlisle Floyd in 1957 and George Walker in 1953. Both sonatas are impressive works that should have gained wider currency, so it is good to have them here, performed with commitment, style, power, and panache by Heidi Louise Williams.…I’m glad that a performer as confident and gifted with real presence as Williams makes a case for this music. None of these sonatas is dogmatic or hidebound. They represent vivid imagination from composers with sophisticated ears who strove to give American piano music a voice. I think many listeners will be surprised at how well they actually succeeded." (Fanfare)

"Brilliant programming meets performances of fire meets excellent recording meets superb documentation: This is a significant release from all angles.…" (Fanfare)
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