Friday, June 3, 2016

Daniel Pollack Plays Samuel Barber

This enterprising disc collects Barber’s Complete published solo piano music, from the juvenile Three Sketches (1923-4) to the powerful Ballade (1977), commissioned for the Fifth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The music encompasses a wide variety of styles and moods and makes for a rewarding recital, particularly when given such sympathetic performances.
Daniel Pollack studied with (among others) Rosina Lhevinne and Wilhelm Kempff, and is now Professor of Piano at the University of South California. His playing exudes confidence, especially in the more rhythmic and forthright passages. In his hands the Sonata is powerfully driven and crisply articulated, creating a palpable sense of raw energy and excitement. His full sonorities and sense of shape in the Interlude and the Ballade are also impressive, and while his tempo in the latter may seem a shade fast, it adds to the essential restlessness of the piece. I was less convinced in the more lyrical works, notably the Nocturne, where Pollack’s handling is too brusque, trampling roughshod over the contrast between passion and delicacy. The dance pieces of the Excursions and Souvenirs are generally more sensitive, and he effectively captures the diversity of distinctive flavours, from the slow blues (Excursions) to the Schottische (Souvenirs).
Pollack’s main rival is Leon McCawley’s Virgin Classics disc, which omits the Three Sketches. McCawley generally plays with a more polished pianistic finish, but is sometimes too polite and introverted, particularly in Barber’s more full-blooded outbursts. Horowitz inevitably remains the benchmark in the Sonata, and his virtuosic fire is in a class of its own. Nevertheless, despite the poor recorded sound from Naxos’s problematic Santa Rosa studio this is an enjoyable disc, and quite a bargain.'
Tim Parry

Source :

Daniel Pollack
Samuel Barber

Complete Published Solo Piano Music


Sonata for Piano, Op. 26
1 Allegro energico  6:28
2 Allegro vivace e leggiero  1:49
3 Adagio mesto  5:20
4 Fuga. Alegro con spirito  4:30

Excursions, Op. 20
5 Un poco allegro  3:01
6 In Slow Blues Tempo  5:24
7 Allegro molto  2:41

Nocturne, Op. 53
(Homage to John Field)
9 Moderato  3:56

Three Sketches
10 Lovesong. Tempo di valse. Allegretto  0:50
11 To My Steinway (To n° 220601). Adagio  1:00
12 Minuet. Tempo di minuetto  1:09

Interlude I
("For Jeanne")
13 Adagio, ma non  troppo  6:19

Ballade, Op. 46
14 Restless  5:56

Souvenirs, Op. 28
15 Waltz. Tempo di valse. Allgro con brio  4:03
16 Schottische. Tempo di Schottische. Allegro ma non troppo  2:22
17 Pas de deux. Adagio  3:58
1 Two-Step. Allegro moto  1:56
19 Hesitation Tango. Con moto  3:45
20 Galop. Allegro molto  3:03


Daniel Pollack - p

Recorded at Fisher Hall, Santa Rosa, California ; April 10/12, 1995


Melanchthon said...

Historicus said...

Thanks a lot!

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

More & more thanks.
Thanks for all your great work

Bradley Lehman said...

Hi, could you please reload this? Thanks!