Dmitri Shostakovich – Piano Concerto No. 2 (1957)

concerto2

Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102, by Dmitri Shostakovich was composed in 1957 for his son Maxim’s 19th birthday. Maxim premiered the piece during his graduation at the Moscow Conservatory. It is an uncharacteristically cheerful piece, much more so than most of Shostakovich’s works. The work is scored for solo piano, three flutes (third doubling piccolo), two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, timpani, snare drum and strings. Despite his dismissal of the concerto, the composer performed it himself on a number of occasions, and recorded it along with his first concerto. Both are played at fast tempi rarely matched in modern recordings.







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Arnold Schoenberg – A Survivor from Warsaw op. 46 (1947)

 

Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951), A Survivor from Warsaw op. 46. From the Album Simon Rattle Edition: The Second Viennese School.

Franz Mazura: speaker / Men’s voices of the City of Brimingham Symphony chorus / City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Conductor: Simon Rattle.

Text:

I cannot remember everything. I must have been unconscious most of the time.

I remember only the grandiose moment when they all started to sing, as if prearranged, the old prayer they had neglected for so many years – the forgotten creed!

But I have no recollection how I got underground to live in the sewers of Warsaw for so long a time. The day began as usual: Reveille when it still was dark. “Get out!” Whether you slept or whether worries kept you awake the whole night. You had been separated from your children, from your wife, from your parents. You don’t know what happened to them… How could you sleep?

The trumpets again – “Get out! The sergeant will be furious!” They came out; some very slowly, the old ones, the sick ones; some with nervous agility. They fear the sergeant. They hurry as much as they can. In vain! Much too much noise, much too much commotion! And not fast enough! The Feldwebel shouts: “Achtung! Stilljestanden! Na wird’s mal! Oder soll ich mit dem Jewehrkolben nachhelfen? Na jut; wenn ihrs durchaus haben wollt!” (“Attention! Stand still! How about it, or should I help you along with the butt of my rifle? Oh well, if you really want to have it!”)

The sergeant and his subordinates hit (everyone): young or old, (strong or sick), quiet, guilty or innocent …

It was painful to hear them groaning and moaning.

I heard it though I had been hit very hard, so hard that I could not help falling down. We all on the (ground) who could not stand up were (then) beaten over the head…

I must have been unconscious. The next thing I heard was a soldier saying: “They are all dead!”

Whereupon the sergeant ordered to do away with us.

There I lay aside half conscious. It had become very still – fear and pain. Then I heard the sergeant shouting: „Abzählen!“ (“Count off!”)

They start slowly and irregularly: one, two, three, four – “Achtung!” The sergeant shouted again, “Rascher! Nochmals von vorn anfange! In einer Minute will ich wissen, wieviele ich zur Gaskammer abliefere! Abzählen!“ (“Faster! Once more, start from the beginning! In one minute I want to know how many I am going to send off to the gas chamber! Count off!”)

They began again, first slowly: one, two, three, four, became faster and faster, so fast that it finally sounded like a stampede of wild horses, and (all) of a sudden, in the middle of it, they began singing the Shema Yisroel. [source]

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Photo: Arnold Schoenberg, Rockingham Avenue, LA, 1947/48

Bernhard Lang – Differenz/Wiederholung 1.2 (2002)

Differenz/Wiederholung 1.2 is composed by Bernhard Lang for Flute, Tenor Saxophone and Piano.

Philippe Racine (flute)
Marcus Weiss (tenor saxophone)
Paulo Alvares (piano)

Bernhard Lang (February 24, 1957 in Linz) is an Austrian composer, improvisationalist and programmer of musical patches and applications. His work can be described as modern contemporary music, with roots, however, in various genres such as 20th-century avant-garde, European classical music, jazz, free jazz, rock, punk, techno, EDM, electronica, electronic music and computer-generated music. Bernhard Lang came to prominence with his work cycle “Differenz / Wiederholung” (“difference / repetition”) in which he illuminated and examined the themes of reproductive and DJ cultures based on the philosophic work of Gilles Deleuze.  [source]

dw1 war das erste stück der differenz/wiederholungsserie, in dem ich vom prinzip der vorangehenden schrift-stücke dahingehend abwich, dass ich bestimmte details meiner handschrift virtuell sampelte und loopte; das wiederholungszeichen und die anzahl der wiederholungen wurden mit einem mal beherrschende parameter des stücks. ich versuchte mich hier in einer art phänomenologie der wiederholung. es tauchen hier u.a.
a) mechanische, “tote” wiederholungen
b) differente, gescratchte wiederholungen
c) geschichtete und zeitdifferente wiederholungen als mobiles und kanons
d) und kombinationen von a-c
auf.

dw 1.2 entstand auf anregung von erik drescher als umarbeitung des trios für flöte, cello und klavier zu flöte, saxophon und klavier. aufgrund der teilweise völlig veränderten klanglichkeit wurden alle partien neu konzipiert, das klangmaterial weitgehend umstrukturiert.

bernhard lang, wien, 04.04.2002 Homepage, Bernard Lang

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