Musical Opinion

Piano music played a particularly significant role in Charles lves’ career. There have been several recordings of the two big Sonatas, but less attention has been given to the substantial quantity of smaller scale pieces. Moreover, the Sonatas have not always been convincingly played or very well recorded. At the same time, most of the discs have emanated from the United States, and have often been difficult to obtain. They have also tended to disappear from the catalogue quite rapidly. Philip Mead’s 2-disc set provides a neat and generous solution to all these problems. His interpretations of the Sonatas can be ranked with the best, showing that he has a strong affinity with lves’ music. They are also very well recorded. Above all, each disc contains a good selection of lves’ smaller items. Some are bizarre and some purely entertaining; but they give a fuller picture of lves’ output for the piano.

—Unknown reviewer