REVIEWS"[Smith] may be said to have gone on a mighty virtuoso tear with these warhorses...He is an impetuous, powerful player who rises to their grandeur with rhetorical grandiloquence...his rubato has the flair of a great actor making the dramatic most of a soliloquy that, without sounding forced or calculated, lends the overly familiar a series of jolts that keeps one's attention on the qui vive...this is impressive and towering...it yields one of the more gripping accounts of the Sonata in recent memory. Sound is transparently immediate."
Fanfare, July/August 2000
"[Smith] offers a committed, often majestic reading."
American Record Guide, July/August 2000
PROGRAM NOTESTimothy Smith is Professor of Piano at the University of Alaska Anchorage and has been chairman of the music department there for 11 years. “A concert pianist in Alaska?” So read the headline in a newspaper soon after the artist arrived. A graduate of Juilliard, the University of Washington, and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Dr. Smith has long garnered accolades from North America and Europe for his performances as recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestral soloist. In Brussels, the press called him an “excellent pianist”; the Philadelphia Inquirer singled him out as “a pianist who interlaces grace with bursts of power and color.” The New York Times covered his debut at Carnegie Recital Hall, describing his performances as “polished, powerful, energetic and technically impressive,” and the Salt Lake City Tribune labeled his rendition of Liszt as “towering.”
This disc offers a sample of Timothy Smith’s dazzling virtuosity as well as his sensitivity in quieter expressive passages. The major work on the recording, the Sonata in B Minor, dates to 1857 and is remarkable in both its architecture and power. The shorter works which follow offer sparkling technical brilliance as well as engaging lyricism. The pieces were recorded in the recital hall at the University of Alaska, which Dr. Smith describes as among “the finest of its kind, both aesthetically and acoustically.” Commenting further about the geographical setting of Anchorage, the artist spoke of the inspiration of the mountains. The booklet notes reproduce some beautiful photos of Alaskan sunsets at midnight taken by this energetic and compelling artist - who seems to have a talent for grasping powerful broad lines plus luminescent details visually as well as in his piano performances.
Piano Sonata in B minor, S.178
Mephisto Waltz No.1
Reminiscences of Donizetti's “Lucia di Lammermoor”