“Charles Tomlinson Griffes [1884-1920] wrote some of the most beautiful music ever created by an American.”
Among the small but precious body of work that constitutes his legacy, Griffes’s piano music occupies a substantial and significant place. An extremely accomplished pianist himself, Griffes composed music for the piano throughout his brief life. This comprehensive overview, chronologically sequenced, enables the listener to trace Griffes’s compositional development over the arc of his career. The peaks of his achievement in the genre are all here: his best-known piano work, The White Peacock; his “tribute to Wagner,” the brooding De Profundis; Clouds, which can stand comparison with Debussy's composition of the same name; The Fountain of the Acqua Paola, a stunning piece of “water music” in the tradition of Liszt and Ravel; the cryptic and enigmatic Three Preludes of 1919; and the Sonata for Piano, his masterpiece and one of the classics of American music.