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Sechs Kleine Klavierstücke, Op 19

'Tsontakis: Man of Sorrows; Berg: Piano Sonata; Webern: Variations' (CDA67564)
Tsontakis: Man of Sorrows; Berg: Piano Sonata; Webern: Variations
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No 1: Leicht, zart
No 2: Langsam
No 3: Sehr langsam
No 4: Rasch, aber leicht
No 5: Etwas rasch
No 6: Sehr langsam

Sechs Kleine Klavierstücke, Op 19
Consider the times. Europe entering the second decade of the twentieth century and on the brink of world war. The artistic community continues to digest Picasso and his seminal Les demoiselles d’Avignon of 1907, Joyce struggles to find a publisher for Dubliners, and a group of poets calling themselves Imagists seeks concision rather than elaboration to convey emotional density.

Arnold Schoenberg’s Six Little Piano Pieces Op 19 of 1911 are as much a product of the experimental intellectual energies of this time as they are an expression of a community heading to disaster. In their five-minute duration we hear a grimness and uncertainty not lost on us today. If we take Schoenberg at his word and try to find a way into his music as it is rather than through how it was made, we may agree with the noted pianist and scholar Charles Rosen when he writes that Schoenberg’s is ‘the most expressive music ever written’.

from notes by Grant Hiroshima © 2007

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Details for CDA67564 track 9
Sehr langsam
Recording date
6 November 2006
Recording venue
St George's, Brandon Hill, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Andrew Keener
Recording engineer
Simon Eadon
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