HENDRIK ANDRIESSEN (1892-1981): Piano Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2*, Fugues in G Minor* and in C Sharp Minor*, Passepied, Menuet, Pavane, The Convex Looking-Glass*, Ballade*, Serenade. * - First Recordings.
Catalogue Number: 06T045
Label: Toccata Classics
Reference: TOCC 0436
Description: Although mainly known for his large-scale, especially liturgical, orchestral and choral works, he also composed a quantity of very fine piano and chamber music. His idiom seldom strayed far from tonality, though of a very chromatic flavor. Glibly, one might say that when composing large, serious works he sounds like an updated César Franck, and in his lighter pieces, like a not so updated French Impressionist. The highly compressed First Sonata probably sounded rather modernistic in 1932, with its dissonances and terse chromaticism; the work is tightly organised in three movements. The larger Second Sonata is more Romantic, also structurally rigorous with a great deal of thematic cross-referencing, especially in the finale. The shade of Franck looms large in chorale-like writing and pianistic figuration, as it does in the splendid, substantial, and very Romantic Ballade of 1914. Three of the charming shorter pieces reflect the composer's love of music of the 18th century, expressed in somewhat Ravelian terms. The Fugues are finely wrought student works which avoid any suggestion of academic desiccation, and the tiny Looking-Glass bagatelle is a product of the composer's brief flirtation with dodecaphony in the 1950s, in which permutations of a row suggest Lewis Carroll's looking-glass world. Jacob Nydegger (piano).