Volume one of the Stephen Hartke Piano Album covers more than thirty years of the composer's considerable output of shorter works for solo piano. Nearly all the pieces in this volume were composed as gifts for friends and thus belong to the time-honored, if somewhat quaint, category of Albumblätter (Album Leaves). From a compositional standpoint, most of them involve some distinctive feature which connects each work to its dedicatee. Included works: Post-Modern Homages (Set I), Post-Modern Homages (Set II), Preludio sopra due soggetti cavati, The Flames of the Sun Make the Desert Flower Hysterical, and The Piano Dreams of Empire.
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