Ivor Gurney: Piano Sonatas Nos 1 and 3

Ivor Gurney: Piano Sonatas Nos 1 and 3

8.574479 (Naxos Records, CD)

FIRST RELEASE (27 October 2023)

Playing time: 74'38"
Tracks: 12
Booklet pages: 6
℗ 2023 Naxos Rights (Europe) Ltd
© 2023 Naxos Rights (Europe) Ltd
Main country of recording: United Kingdom
Country of manufacture: Germany
Sent to a reviewer on 4 December 2023

Listen: Ivor Gurney: Moderato (Piano Sonata No 3) (track 9, 2:52-3:48)

George Rowley, piano

Ivor Gurney (1890-1937):

Five Preludes (1919-20)
1 No 5 in D
2 No 2 in A minor
3 No 4 in F sharp
4 No 3 in D flat
5 No 1 in F sharp

Piano Sonata No 1 in F minor (1910) (first recording)
6 Molto allegro
7 Largo
8 Moderato

Piano Sonata No 3 in D minor (1919) (first recording)
9 Moderato
10 Adagio

Two Poems for Piano
11 No 1 - Autumn (1912) (first recording)

Piano Sonata No 2 in D
12 II Adagio (1919) (first recording)

Ivor Gurney's songs have long earned him renown but his works for pian, composed over the period of a decade, are hardly known. The lyrically beautiful Five Preludes reflect influences as wide as Schumann and Scriabin but preserve Gurney's expressive freshness. The Sonatas Nos 1 and 3 inhabit very different sound worlds from each other, and only one movement from Sonata No 2 has survived, a deeply poignant elegy - all of which are heard here in first recordings. His poem for piano, Autumn, offers further opportunity to discover this rarely heard music by a composer for whom the pursuit of beauty was of the utmost importance.

Recorded 15-16 March 2023 at The Tythe Barn, Hellens Manor, Much Marcle, Herefordshire, UK.