The nineteenth volume in this long-running series devoted to musicians and composers of the First World War is intriguingly programmed. Ervin Schulhoff’s transitional Fünf Groteskenrevels in dance-based anti-romanticism and its droll aspect embraces filmic compression and exaggeration as well as traces of the Baroque. The subversive elements of Schulhoff’s compositional imagination, fermented by his war service, are also apparent in this five-movement cycle which is played by Steven Vanhauwaert with real appreciation of its frantic and thumbing qualities.

Hindemith’s In Einar Nacht is a multi-movement suite with some vaguely impressionist hues and rapt stillness in places that vests it with a tremendous sense of concentrated quietude, as well as character. Then again, the refractive intimacy of the Lassitudes movement is balanced by the nocturnal calls in Rufe in der horchenden Nacht, the fluttering-winged sixth movement, the febrile Nersosität and the birdsong of the ninth. Following the penultimate, all-the-rage Fox-Trot with the concluding Double Fugue is a little stroke of mocking genius. Casella’s brief triptych Inezie, meanwhile, is full of rhythmic and harmonic interest and ends with a quietly insistent Berceuse. Wrapped up in five minutes this hardly outstays its welcome.

Raymond Moulaert, a now almost-forgotten figure, was Belgian and held a series of prestigious academic positions over the years. His piano training with Arthur de Greef must have equipped him well and his Sonatine teems with fresh minted Fauréan sensibility, though occasionally one that veers into slightly knottier areas. Debussy haunts the central movement of the panel through the over-busy finale might profitably have been pruned a little. Finally, Louis Vierne is represented by his Poème des cloches funèbres: Le Glas. This is the only surviving movement of what was intended to be a four-movement suite. By 1916 Vierne had already lost two sons – one in combat – and his soldier brother, and the controlled anguish that permeates the piece evokes Ravel in places. The bells are intoned by the stentorian bass.

Here again Vanhauwaert proves an excellent guide in a reasonable recorded acoustic. This is a most enjoyable disc, full of a ripe variety of expressive piano music.

Jonathan Woolf

 

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2016/Nov/Dispersion_719.htm

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Warming up for the Salastina Music Society performance of the Franck violin sonata lecture/performance with violinist Kevin Kumar and K-USC’s host Brian Lauritzen!

 

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Noon to Midnight was an incredible event at Disney Hall featuring all of L.A.’s incredible new music scene. Here are some shots from the event. I performed Messiaen’s Catalogue d’Oiseaux with Piano Spheres colleagues, and Steve Reich’s incredible 8 Lines with pianist Vicki Ray, Jacaranda musicians and conductor Donald Crockett.

 

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“Con la consueta regolarità, Hortus presenta un nuovo cd della sua ambiziosa collezione dedicata ai musicisti che hanno composto negli anni della prima guerra mondiale, più o meno impegnati nel conflitto dalle due parti del fronte. Questo volume XIX raccoglie composizioni per pianoforte, interessanti per la vastità dell’orizzonte percorso, dai 5 Grotteschi del céco Erwin Schulhoff alle Inezie di Alfredo Casella che con opposti ideali esplorano nuovi itinerari espressivi, lontani dal romanticismo, come il tedesco Paul Hindemith con il suo In Einer Nacht (In una notte). Egualmente distanti emotivamente la Sonata inedita del belga Raymond Moulaert, che ignora l’agitazione del conflitto, e Le glas dal Poème des cloches funèbres del francese Louis Vierne, immerso nelle profondità di un dramma umano che vive le lacerazioni della guerra attraverso il dolore personale.

Il pianista belga Steven Vanhauwaert è l’impegnato interprete di questo così variato programma, particolarmente attento ed efficace nella fredda complessità di Hindemith e negli angosciati tormenti di Vierne.”

 

 

https://www.grey-panthers.it/ideas/cd-musiche-settembre-f-nuzzo/

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Musik aus Kriegszeiten muss nicht düster sein. Der belgische Pianist Steven Vanhauwaert beginnt sein Programm mit einer sehr verspielten Interpretation der ‘Fünf Grotesken’ von Erwin Schulhoff, die dieser 1917 und 1918 komponierte, als er Soldat der österreichischen Armee war und u.a. in den Dolomiten kämpfte. Nichts ist hier zu spüren von der inneren Revolte des jungen Soldaten.

In Paul Hindemiths neunzehnteiligem und 25 Minuten dauerndem Zyklus ‘In einer Nacht, Träume und Erlebnisse’, op. 15  (1919) haben Musikwissenschaftler impressionistische, andere hingegen expressionistische Musik gesehen. Beides trifft wohl zu in einer facettenreichen Musik, die von tiefer Melancholie zu sehr lebhaften flimmernden Passagen wechselt und mit Zitaten aus  Humperdincks ‘Hänsel und Gretel’ ebenso aufwartet wie mit einem « bösen Traum nach einem Thema aus Verdis Rigoletto ». Hindemith gibt sich eigentlich sehr provokant hier, sehr ironisch auch und treibt das Ganze in einer ‘Doppelfuge mit Engführungen’, einer Kontrapunkt-Parodie, auf die Spitze. Vanhauwaert spielt dieses Stück sehr stimmungsvoll, sehr expressiv und mit einem schillernden Spiel von Farben und Schattierungen.

Nach dem kurzen Dreiteiler ‘Inezie’ von Alfredo Casella folgt die Weltersteinspielung der Klaviersonate von Raymond Moulaert

(1875 – 1962) einem neoromantischen Stück, das Vanhauwaert sehr evokativ spielt. Hier wie in anderen Stücken zeigt der Pianist eine große Sensibilität, die er mit einem sehr schönen Abschlag zu viel Wirkung verhilft.

Nach so viel Charme und Verspieltheit erinnert Viernes düsterer ‘Poème des Cloches: Le Glas’ an das Thema der CD: Der Erste Weltkrieg. Andere Pianisten haben das Drama in der Musik in geschmackloser Art in den musikalischen Exhibitionismus getrieben.  Vanhauwaert hütet sich vor solchem Interpretieren. Er wahrt eine gute Distanz und gelangt so zu einer gerade so subtilen wie wahrhaftigen Emotionalität.

Steven Vanhauwaert’s program with music from the time of the First World War is varied and compelling, and Viernes Le Glas is the only really sombre music. The Belgian pianist is a very fine player, and his performances show an exquisite refinement and atmosphere.

 

 

Klaviermusik zum Thema Erster Weltkrieg

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New review on my Dispersion recording for Hortus Records! Thank you, Jean-Charles Hoffelé, for the write-up! http://www.artalinna.com/?p=5848

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