Leo Ornstein: Sonata No. 1 for cello and piano

Joshua Gordon, cello; Randall Hodgkinson, piano

Those wonderful tone clusters that Henry Cowell allegedly invented actually surfaced in the lush hyper-Romantic solo piano music of Leo Ornstein several years earlier. They are one of the delights of Ornstein’s early chamber music as well, including the first of his two cello sonatas from 1915 featured on a new recording finally collecting all of Ornstein’s works for cello and piano. In a chamber music context, Ornstein’s dense piano harmonies come across also sounding like a harbinger of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time.