Monday, July 31, 2017

George Walker & John Malveaux: George Walker: American Virtuoso, HAYDN: Sonata in c-minor, Hob. XVI/20, YouTube from Albany TROY411 (2001)

George Walker (b. 1922) 

has a website at

and is featured at
American Virtuoso

HAYDN: Sonata in c-minor, Hob. XVI/20 - GEORGE WALKER

George Walker, Piano
Albany Records 

George Walker writes:

Hello Bill,

Since you liked my performance of the Beethoven Emperor Concerto, I thought that this wonderful Haydn Sonata might appeal to you. Albany Records just posted it. The cd on which it appeared was issued in the 1990s, but was never reviewed.

Best regards.

Published on Jul 29, 2017
1): Allegro moderato
2) (@ 09:42): Andante con moto
3)) (@ 18:58): Allegro

George Walker, piano

from Albany TROY411 (2001)

A special request for posting by Mr. Walker himself.

George Walker began his concert career as a pianist with a "notable debut" recital in Town Hall, New York, in 1945 - a recital sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Efrem Zimbalist. Two weeks later, he performed the Third Piano Concerto of Rachmaninoff with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy conducting. He was immediately hailed as one of the most brilliant pianists of his generation. In 1950, he became the first black instrumentalist to be signed by a major concert management, National Concert Artists. In 1953, he made an unprecedented tour of seven European countries - Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and England with phenomenal success. Today, he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Classical Music Hall of Fame. And by the way, as a composer, in 1996, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his composition Lilacs for Voice and Orchestra, which was premiered by the Boston Symphony Orchestra with Seiji Ozawa conducting.

John Malveaux of 

Thank you for sharing a recording of your lesser known achievements as pioneering Black concert pianist before Andre Watts.

AfriClassical writes:

HAYDN: Sonata in c-minor, Hob. XVI/20 (26:01)

American Virtuoso includes works of Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, Debussy and Liszt.  George Walker is correct in recalling that we particularly appreciated his performance of Beethoven's Emperor Concerto.  That work has held a special place in our music collection since we discovered it while in college,  The music of Haydn came to our attention somewhat later, and is now also well represented in our music library.  

Haydn's Sonata in C-Minor is often regarded as very challenging to the pianist, but to our ears the interpretation of George Walker flows quite naturally, without strain.  The music remains melodic throughout. The performance makes a fitting opening to a diverse collection of keyboard works by an outstanding American composer and pianist whose recordings deserve much more attention than they have so far received.

Comment by email:
Many thanks, Bill. Best regards. George [George Walker]


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