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Complete Piano Works SACD, Import

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Early-Schönberg's `Late-Brahms' Piano... Feb. 27 2011
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Young German artist Hardy Rittner is definitely on the way towards making a name for himself by employing high-definition recording techne while performing on period instruments.

Rittner's opened up a fissure of exploration in the late-Brahms/early-Schönberg nexus with his recent issues on the topflight MDG label.

On this issue Rittner performs on an 1870 Streicher and on a 1901 Steinway D.

Rittner's Schönberg readings here are fairly brisk in the event.

Of especial interest on this disc are the Drei Klavierstücke of 1894--virtually contemporaneous with the Op. 119 set of Brahms' last piano pieces.

These works--(c#-minor Andantino; F-major Andantino grazioso; a-minor Presto)--share characteristics of late-Brahms (metrical complexities; late-Romantic chordal thickness; arpeggiated figurations) while simultaneously exhibiting Schönbergian originalities (intense polyphony; sharp accelerandos; ambiguous harmonies; extensive chromaticism).

Recordings of Schönberg's 1894 Klavierstücke have been rare:

Elisabeth Klein, 1997
Gregorio Nardi, 1998
Sarah Rothenberg, 2000.

(Rothenberg's issue is remarkably prescient in its interpolation of the late-Brahms/early-Schönberg pieces.)

Brahms Klavierstück on an 1851 Streicher
Brahms Klavierstück on an 1851 Streicher
Brahms Sonatas on an 1850 Bösendorfer
By Gustav Mahler - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I can honestly say that I've never heard these pieces performed better and anyone close to these works will certainly be pleased with these virtually perfect performances. But as much as I love and admire Schoenberg's vocally oriented works from Erwartung and Pierrot Lunaire to Moses und Aron, for reasons I can't quite pinpoint, his purely instrumental works with rare exception don't seem to do much for me including these piano pieces. Perhaps it's because I can't seem to appreciate them as abstract music as I can anything up through Mahler. His Opus 24 Serenade is one of the exceptions perhaps due to the interesting choice of instruments, but his Three Pieces for Orchestra leave me flat. His String Trio is another, but perhaps it's because it has a "program" (his heart attack and subsequent recouperation).

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