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James Harrington
American Record Guide, May 2020

Leo Sowerby (1895-1968) is a name that takes me back to my Anglican roots. His music that I remember from church choir did nothing to prepare me for the rather brilliant piano music on this release. Here we get what are all labeled world premiere recordings. The solo piano works are played by Quillman…

…The unique music makes it worth coming back to. © 2020 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



William Kreindler
MusicWeb International, March 2020

These recordings span almost the entire length of Sowerby’s career, from the age of 20 to 64. In the works for two pianos, Ms. Quillman is ably assisted by her former pupil Julia Tsien, a fine pianist in her own right.

Sowerby wrote two works for Whiteman, the Monotony-Symphony and the work recorded here-the Synconata. Both pieces can be heard in their original versions on YouTube but the Quillman-Tsien performance compares favorably in energy and emotional range, not to mention sound quality, with the originals. This is especially true in the super-dynamic finale to the work. © 2020 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Colin Clarke
Fanfare, March 2020

The Suite for Piano Four Hands dates from some 44 years later. Cedille’s commentary suggests, plausibly, “a kinship” with the music of Barber and Rorem (remember that Rorem studied with Sowerby). The performance here is on two pianos, in the spirit of the score’s own freedom (the movements can be performed in any order, for example). The third movement seems to invoke Debussy’s orientalist side. The piece is impeccably sculpted and highly controlled compositionally, and Quillman and Tsien’s performance reflects this.

The discographical value of this disc is huge; that it is a musical triumph seals the deal. © 2020 Fanfare Read complete review



Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, March 2020

The program concludes with a jaunty Fisherman’s Tune that must have delighted Percy Grainger and a curiously titled Synconata that plays like a symphonic movement or the curtain-raiser for a larger work. Quillman and Tsien play all these two-piano works with much relish. © 2020 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review




Infodad.com, December 2019

All the performances here, which date to 1997, are enthusiastic, and all evince commitment to the music and to the elements that make Sowerby’s piano pieces stand out. …There is much that is enjoyable and much that will make listeners wonder why Sowerby’s many works—he wrote more than 500—are not heard more frequently. © 2019 Infodad.com Read complete review



Records International, December 2019

The album’s earliest work, the Summer Beach Sketches, from 1915, shows the influence of composer-pianist Percy Grainger, with whom Sowerby studied. It’s also one of the earliest serious compositions to use jazz and blue harmonies. Composed in 1959, Suite for Piano (Four-hands) shares a kinship with the music of Samuel Barber, whom Sowerby championed, and the music of Sowerby’s former student Ned Rorem. Passacaglia, Interlude and Fugue for solo piano (1931) is a dreamy, French Impressionist take on classic forms. © 2019 Records International Read complete review





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