Solo classical piano, performed by local legend Sarah Cahill. A straight classical sound, but with modern depth: dissonant chords; a deep, heavy ringing to most pieces. Wintery stuff that'll make you think of the ECM label a lot. Every track but 4 and 15 is a debut; Ornstein died leaving hundreds of pages of unperformed piano works. FCC clean.
Liner notes describe lyrical, pretty passages peppered with hidden polyrhythms and even "ferocious dissonances," which is all apt. Ornstein, who lived to be something like 109, was apparently quite the firebrand in the early 20th century; these pieces ceom from his mellower "old age" (he was in his '60s or '70s for many of them).
Interestingly enough, most of the pieces were written with no instructions as to tempo, loudness, etc. So a lot of what you're hearing is Cahill's own interpretation; by necessity there's a bit of herself in the performing.
Full scores at leoornstein.net.
1- Sad but not slow.
2- Nicely dramatic; a rather polite classical feel
3- Lightly fluttering; builds to some tense moments
4- A relatively famous piece. Gets tough and dramatic. Nicely resolved ending, ends SEVERAL SECONDS EARLY.
5- Airy fluttering. Later, dark with low dissonance
6- Deep mystery. Starts light but gets dense and dark quickly. Middle section of light snowfall, then some strong-handed playing.
7- Jaunty, spritely, but a bit "off" in tone. Later, a tough, stern tone
8- Soft and quilted, yet tense
9- Gets quite passionate. Nicely lyrical intro.
11- A flow that feels static, in a way. More dynamic later. Nice.
12- Soft flutters
13- Delicate, wandering
14- Slowly cascading, a building of drama. Very "classical."
15- Slowly flowing and pretty