In Poems and Preludes, Tomas Bachli gives a powerfully expressive solo piano performance of modern classical music by Brian Agro. The forms are varied, contrasting, and adventurous, and at times evoke the spirit of Ferrucio Busoni's early 20th century Sonatinas, particularly at track number four, entitled "What Goes Up."
However, as a composer, Agro is not so easily pigeonholed, as his technique is all encompassing, making use of the complete harmonic spectrum and orchestral range of the modern grand piano.
And his chromatic concept should not be underestimated. Even students of improvised music should benefit from close attention to the highly original chord structures and melodic treatments here.
Make no mistake about it: these are perfect piano recital pieces. The depth and breadth of these performances make them as important as Paul Jacobs' late 1970s sessions for Nonesuch Records.
by James D. Armstrong, Jr.
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