Shapeshifter: Music of Erwin Schulhoff

Shapeshifter: Music of Erwin Schulhoff

Shapeshifter: Music of Erwin Schulhoff

Shapeshifter: Music of Erwin Schulhoff


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The music of Erwin Schulhoff is sometimes programmed with works by other composers who died in the Nazi Holocaust, but he had a better-established career than most of the others, and good surveys of his work are lacking. That changes with this collection of Schulhoff's music from conductor James Conlon and students from the Colburn School of Music. There are two piano concertos, one for the left hand, along with chamber works and solo piano music. The music is delivered with a valuable jolt of enthusiasm by the youthful players, and Conlon and company make a powerful case for its inclusion in the general repertory going forward. There is a bit of Bartok in Schulhoff's works like the Five Pieces for string quartet (such as the third piece, "Alla czeca"), but Schulhoff is a different kind of composer, eclectic in a way that looked forward to the music of the present day. A given piece may contain late Romantic effusions, edgy near-atonality, references to popular music of the day (sample the "Alla tango milonga" from the Five Pieces for string quartet, or the closing Susi, a popular song for piano), and American jazz, which Bartok avoided even as his big-name contemporaries were experimenting with it. Yet the larger pieces never seem to fly off the road; Schulhoff's concision in handling his thematic material often ties together the most diverse materials. The music here is vigorous, and even as it carries overtones of the world the Nazis destroyed, it points toward the future. Appearing just ahead of the 2022 holiday season, this would make an excellent gift of unfamiliar but highly listenable music for anyone who loves the 1920s scene, or really for anyone. ~ James Manheim

Product Details

Release Date: 10/07/2022
Label: Delos
UPC: 0013491356624
Rank: 162723


  1. Concerto for Piano and Small Orchestra, Op 43: Molto sostenuto; Sostenuto; Allegro alla jazz
  2. Five Pieces for String Quartet~Alla valse viennese
  3. Five Pieces for String Quartet~Alla serenata
  4. Five Pieces for String Quartet~Alla czeca
  5. Five Pieces for String Quartet~Alla tango milonga
  6. Five Pieces for String Quartet~Alla tarantella
  7. Suite for Piano, Left Hand~Preludio
  8. Suite for Piano, Left Hand~Air
  9. Suite for Piano, Left Hand~Zingara
  10. Suite for Piano, Left Hand~Improvisazione
  11. Suite for Piano, Left Hand~Finale
  12. Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano~Allegro impetuoso
  13. Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano~Andante
  14. Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano~Burlesca: Allegretto
  15. Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano~Allegro risoluto
  16. Susi

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Dominic Cheli   Primary Artist,Piano
James Conlon   Primary Artist,Conductor
Artists from the Colburn School   Primary Artist
Gallia Kastner   Violin
Ben Solomonow   Cello
Adam Millstein   Violin
RVC Ensemble   Ensemble
Cara Pogossian   Viola

Technical Credits

Rebecca Stewart   Liner Notes
Francesco Perlangeli   Engineer
Hanh Nguyen   Photography
Sergei Parfenov   Engineer
Philip Pirolo   Cover Design
Lonnie Kunkel   Booklet Design
Neema Pazargad   Piano Technician
Dominic Cheli   Editing,Producer
Derek Williams   Assistant Engineer
Adam Millstein   Producer
Abbey Springer   Orchestra Manager
Conrad Felixmuller   Woodcut
Erwin Schulhoff   Composer
Fred Vogler   Producer
Dan Steinberg   Photography
Jeremy Frank   Producer
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