The disc’s most abstract inclusion is the set of five Preludes Price wrote between 1926 and ’32. They’re a bit hard to place, stylistically – little in them sounds like classical or popular fare from those years – but the finale, with its gigue-like rhythms and minor mode domination anticipates Price’s later symphonic finales.
Rounding out the album are the lush, Ravel-esque Clouds and the boisterous, folksy Cotton Dance.
In all of these works, Cullen proves an accomplished, sympathetic advocate: he clearly knows his way around and is comfortable with this music. That the program holds together so well is a testament both to his artistry and musical intuition (the liner notes point out that the pianist chose the track list because each piece was meaningful to him for fundamental reasons). One mightn’t mind a bit more – at fifty minutes, the recording is on the brief side – but there’s never the sense of being short-changed by the performances.