Helen Taylor, who died tragically in 1950, was a gifted and promising Juilliard-trained composer and the wife of pianist Grant Johannesen. Taylor’s scores have been resurrected by Johannesen, and are presented here with wonderful new digital recordings and complete biographical notes. Taylor’s Symphony, edited and conducted by Ralph Laycock, is an especially ambitious achievement. The album has been reviewed and praised in the audiophile magazine, Fanfare.
Helen Taylor was a gifted young Utah composer with a fine New York pedigree and endless promise. Her life was tragically cut short in a 1950 auto accident. The 2001 Tantara album Discovering Helen Taylor reintroduced this talented composer to the music-loving public. In this long-awaited follow-up CD, Taylor’s husband, the late and legendary pianist Grant Johannesen, revisits some of the existing piano scores left behind, and Kelly Parkinson, violin, and Ellen Bridger, cello also perform. The BYU Faculty String Quartet performs a fugue discovered when Taylor’s papers were donated to BYU. Discovering Helen Taylor 2 is believed to be the last recordings made by Mr. Johannesen.