Andrew Willis Plays American Piano Music
Andrew Willis, piano
Albany Records [product id: TROY674]
Works on this album
Examples (Sound Clips)
Reviews of “Andrew Willis Plays American Piano Music”
Records International Catalogue:
Amlin belongs to the small but select group of contemporary composer-pianists who write piano music that cannot help but be instrumentally idiomatic and wholly identifiable as belonging to their own individual style because they write with the authority of performers completely versed in the potential of the instrument. Rhythmically incisive though deceptively unstable - he delights in tripping up one's metrical expectations through unexpected irregularity of meter or sudden syncopated accents - and harmonically rich in a basically tonal idiom, Amlin seeks not to expand the vocabulary of the piano through extended technique, but to say new things in a language not fundamentally dissimilar to that of composers of a century ago. If this is conservatism, it doesn't really advertise itself as such, and if his use of traditional forms - variations, fugue - suggests an attachment to the past, his freely rhapsodic treatment of his material, and the hidden mechanisms (including elements of dodecaphony, not rigidly adhered to) speaks of the eclecticism of our times.
American Record Guide, March/April 2005:
At his best Amlin is fluent, fresh, vital, sensuous, poetic... All of these pieces have lots of energy, lots of ideas, indeed lots of notes; his is definitely a " maximalist" aesthetic.... I'd single out for praise the "Lament" (II) of Sonata 7. I also like the modest (in both size and technical demands) Eight Variations, with its clever and sharply contrasted miniature variants (tango, two-part invention, arietta, gigue, and so on) on a slow chorale...