George Walker Complete Piano Works 1 — About Time

George Walker didn’t write much piano music. His entire oeuvre fits easily onto two compact discs. The relatively few works he composed stretch over 60 years. 

Though few and far between, they’re compositions of exceptional quality. So I’m excited about Alexandre Dossin’s latest project. He will be recording Walker’s entire solo piano output (plus the piano concerto). 

Collectively, they’ll show the range and imagination of the composer. 

This volume includes the first three of Walker’s five piano sonatas. The first sonata, written in 1954 is the longest. It also incorporates African-American spirituals. 

His third sonata, written twenty years later, is very different. Here Walker explores the possibilities of a limited set of motifs. The music borders on atonality, with nary a spiritual to be heard. 

Walker was a composer who constantly evolved. The pieces on this volume demonstrate just how much he grew over the decades. 

Alexandre Dossin performs with both passion and authority. This is his project — and he’s invested in the results. Even when Walker’s at his most intellectual Dossin’s playing conveys real emotion. 

I am very much looking forward to the second volume.George Walker: Complete Piano Works 1
Alexandre Dossin, piano
Naxos 8.559916

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