For reasons I won’t go into, the Italian pianist Roberto Raimondi found me online and sent his recording of Ives's "Concord Sonata" to me in the United States. I have many recordings of this sprawling, eccentric music, and this one is fast becoming a favorite. It's an exciting, thoughtful, and deeply felt performance. Roberto approaches Ives almost like Bach -- not in a way that dries it out, but in way that clarifies the textures and emphasizes the independent voices. I was especially impressed with his treatment of the Hawthorne movement, which has in general been my least favorite of the four. The timings are longer than in most other recordings. Roberto brings in the piece in at just 12 seconds shy of an hour, an almost epic length, and the music only accumulates power as it goes on.
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