John S. Hilliard | Washington, D.C. United States | 04/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you know the work of Alan Hovhaness, the great and unique American/Armenian/Scottish composer, this Concerto for Two Pianos may come as a surprise. It is unusual in his output. The orchestral parts fit his lifetime approach of Asian-influenced modal repetitive style. However, the wonderful and brilliant piano writing seems at first to be at odds with this sound world. There are cluster like chords, bimodality, polytonality involved in the soloists parts. This creates a very dynamic collage. I believe, for me, this may be Hovhaness's greatest work. Ironic and sad that it has never had an American premiere (as of this date!). I hope this is remedied soon. It is due to the untiring efforts of Martin Berkofsky that we have a recording of this work at all, which has gone unpublished since its composition in 1954. Berkofsky is an amazing musician and does a superlative job here with three solo pieces and the "concerto" Lousadzak...another masterwork of Hovhaness. Anyone who loves the music of the past 100 years should get this CD... its profit supports a great cause too: that of the Beslan School Tragedy Fund. -John S. Hilliard, Composer."