Ernst Krenek: Piano Works

Ernst Krenek: Piano Works

by Stanislav Khristenko


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Product Details

Release Date: 07/31/2012
Label: Oehms
UPC: 4260034864221
catalogNumber: 422


  1. Piano Sonata No. 7, Op. 240
  2. Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 59
  3. Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 92/4
  4. Echoes from Austria, for piano, Op. 166
  5. Piano Pieces (5), Op. 39
  6. Little Suite, for piano, Op. 13a

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Ernst Krenek: Piano Works 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
KlingonOpera More than 1 year ago
Ernst Krenek was a contemporary composer, and this recording features six of his works for the solo piano. The first (“Klaviersonate No. 2, Op. 59), written in 1929, is a seeming mishmash of jazz, atonality, Schubertian march (in the second movement), and some rhythms that hint at or are suggestive of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody In Blue”. The second work (“Little Suite, Op. 13a) starts off with some Bach sounding musical material, turns into a Sarabande and Gavotte followed by a Waltz, then a Fugue, and ends with a Fox Trot. If this sounds quite strange, it’s because it is, but the piece as a whole seems to “work”. The third piece is “Funf Klavierstucke, Op. 39” which consists of five different simplistic tunes that are rather disjoint in nature. Following that is “Klaviersonate No. 3, Op. 39”, a piece that the informative liner notes indicate that Glenn Gould included in his last public recital in Los Angeles in 1964. Unfortunately for me, this is exactly the type of contemporary piece that I find off-putting. That being said, I have several friends that would definitely enjoy not only this work, but this particular performance as well. The last two works are “Echoes from Austria, Op. 166” and “Klaviersonate No. 7, Op. 240”. The former is a short seven movement work based for the most part on Austrian folk tunes, and is very pleasing to the ear and the mind. The last piece is the composer’s last piano sonata, written in 1988, and again for me it falls into the “not my type of thing” category, making use of twelve-tone techniques and lacking the lyricism that I find preferable. This disc itself was interesting, in that the pieces themselves spanned Krenek’s life and compositional evolution. As for Stanislav Khristenko (piano), his playing is exemplary and brings back fond memories of seeing him perform with the Phoenix Symphony. While this disc will not likely spend a great deal of time in my CD player, it was a positive educational listening experience.