Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Charles Tomlinson Griffes was in many ways one of the most remarkable composers America has produced. In a lifetime of only 36 years, he managed to create an intensely personal style reflecting little of his German training and to write a significant amount of music, all of which is still performed, I can't say this about Beethoven, let alone MacDowell.
Sunday night all of his piano music, except for three preludes that are probably not genuine, were played at the National Gallery of Art by Aldo Mancinelli, artist in residence at athe University of Tulsa. He played the four Roman Sketches, the three Tone Pictures, the three Fantasy pieces and the Sonata, an impressive structure making extraordinary demands on the pianist's technique and musical understanding.
Mancinelli brought to this music the wealth of tone color it demands, an accomplishment compounded of excellent control of touch and unusual sensitivity in the use of the pedals. He is a pianist who plays with great concentration and with no distracting mannerisms.
I am told he has recently recorded this music, but that the record has not yet been released. I am glad, for here is a definitive performance of some valuable American music.