The solo piano music of Ives represents an extraordinary achivement. "Experimental" is a word often associated with it. But "experimental" in what sense? Certainly he was exploring a wholly unique and personal style. Ives’ music is by turns, exploratory, powerful, sensitive and transcendental always wholly consistent within its own, sometimes highly unusual terms.
These qualities are there in abundance in his two crowning achievements the first and second sonatas. The studies and others orbit round these like planets to twin suns.
Gramophone Top Choice
"...Philip Mead’s performance is loud, rude and jammed with idiosyncratic corners. Charles Ives would have been hugely appreciative and admiring."
Philip Clark - Gramophone magazine
Classical CD of the Week
“Perhaps providing the finest interpretation of the two piano sonatas on disc… Philip Mead is in his element, dexterously flying through those glittering dissonances and freely enjoying Ives’s unstilted ragtime motifs.”
“The performances are superb - and so is the recording”
“ Mead has no problems with the formidable technical difficulties many of these pieces present; the massive accumulations of notes, the cross rhythms and lightning switches of mood ”
"This is a most desirable disc...these two discs contain just about all of Ives’s best-known and most significant works for piano. ... Mead would be hard to beat."
“[Mead’s] interpretations of the Sonatas can be ranked with the best, showing that he has a strong affinity with lves’ music. They are also very well recorded. ”