"Alan Hovhaness's music has been appallingly neglected since his death in the year 2000... perhaps this recording will help to change that... Haskell Small clearly loves this music and performs it with affection and understanding in an excellently clear recording engineered by Christopher Drummond."
Ivan Moody, Gramophone [Novbember 2023]
"The Pastoral No.1 makes harrowing use of the bass end of the nine-foot Bluthner grand piano played with such sustained gong-like composure by Haskell Small... excellent liner notes by Robert Aubry Davis... The piano sound from a nine-foot Bluthner Grand is frank, forthright and full-on potent."
Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International [October 2023]
"Despite Hovhaness's piano scores having an economy of performance markings, Haskell has a knack for picking the right tempi, judicious pacing of momentum, and shaping so many gestures just perfectly. As well as the necessary fluid technique, he displays a probing musicianship and instinct which bring out the essence of each piece beautifully. The performances of the Armenian Folk Songs here are as appealing as any already out there, but these are arguably the most engaging recordings of the three selected piano sonatas, so the disc can be recommended for these alone."
Marco Shirodkar, Alan Hovhaness Website [September 2023]
"[Hovhaness] mountain-inspired piano music is much less familiar, which makes an MSR Classics CD featuring pianist Haskell Small all the more worthwhile... [Small] made these recordings in 2013 and 2014, and they sound quite good, played with attentiveness and without overstated feeling."
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [August 2023]
"Haskell Small has done it again! My review of his earlier accounts of the Bach Partitas gave me the distinct impression of a complete artist of the keyboard, temperamentally disinclined to perform anything in which he is not deeply involved... This new MSR release of Mountain Fantasies by Alan Hovhaness only confirms my earlier impression of this consummate artist."
Phil Muse, Atlanta Audio Club [October 2023]
PROGRAM NOTESComposer and pianist Haskell Small has been praised for the exquisite blend of sound and silence in his compositions and for his prodigious technique and subtle touch at the keyboard. His discography of more than a dozen recordings and his frequent national and international tours have firmly established Small’s distinguished artistic reputation around the world. Small’s international performance career include engagements at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center and Spoleto USA. His artistry has spread further through his YouTube channel and other video content, which have received millions of views. In addition to his online presence, Small was featured on the nationally-broadcast PBS special “A Celebration of the Piano.” Throughout his career, Small’s contemplative nature has drawn him to music that seeks a spiritual quietude that approaches silence. His ongoing series of compositions, performances and recordings, “Journeys in Silence”, reflects this interest. Small regularly tours the United States, Europe and Japan, programming his own compositions as well as works by other composers that share this aesthetic, performing in monasteries, churches and galleries, as well as conventional concert venues. Small has received commissions from the Washington Ballet, Three Rivers Piano Competition, Georgetown Symphony and Paul Hill Chorale, among others. His discography includes recordings of his own compositions, as well as J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations and Six Partitas, Federico Mompou’s Musica Callada and a collection of piano transcriptions entitled Gershwin in Black and White, on the MSR Classics, Naxos, Centaur and 4-Tay labels. Haskell Small received his musical training at the San Francisco Conservatory and Carnegie-Mellon University. He studied piano with Leon Fleisher and William Masselos, and composition with Vincent Persichetti and Ronald Leich. Currently, Small is faculty member and former Piano Department Chair of the Washington D.C. Conservatory of Music, where he has taught since 1984. [ www.haskellsmall.com ]
PROGRAMALAN HOVHANESS (1911-2000)
BLUE JOB MOUNTAIN SONATA (1979)
III. Jhala to Blue Job Mountain (Allegro)
PROSPECT HILL SONATA (1980)
I. Andante; Allegro vivace
III. Allegro vivace
MT. KATAHDIN SONATA (1987)
III. Jhala of Larch Trees
IV. Mestoso tragico
PASTORAL NO.1 (1952)
HYMN FOR MT. CHOCORUA (1982)
12 ARMENIAN FOLK SONGS (1943)
I. Half note = 104
II. Half note = 104
III. Half note = 104
IV. Half note = ca. 60
V. Half note = 72
VI. Dotted quarter note = 88
VII. Dotted quarter note = 96
VIII. Dotted quarter note = 84
IX. Half note = 120
X. Quarter note = ca. 60
XI. Quarter note = 126
XII. Dotted quarter note = 100
FAREWELL TO THE MOUNTAINS (1946)
Recorded at the Westmoreland United Church of Christ in Bethesda, Maryland on 14 and 16 July 2013 [1-6, 11, 12] and 6 and 7 July 2014 [7-10, 13-25]. Producer: Joseph Gascho. Recording engineer: Mark Huffman. Digital editing: Haskell Small. Mastering engineer: Christopher Drummond, www.Sonic-Ocean.com.
J.S. BACH: KEYBOARD PARTITAS 2, 3 & 6
BWV 826, 827 & 830 HASKELL SMALL
J.S. BACH: KEYBOARD PARTITAS 1, 4 & 5
BOOK OF HOURS
Piano Music by Haskell Small HASKELL SMALL
THE ROTHKO ROOM: JOURNEYS IN SILENCE
and other recent piano works by Haskell Small HASKELL SMALL