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Schubert: Wanderer Fantasy
Andreas Klein
JDT 3449
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Composer Piece Samples
Franz Schubert Wanderer Fantasy, Op. 15
1. Allegro con fuoco ma non troppo
2. Adagio
3. Presto
4. Allegro
Franz Schubert Sonata in B-Flat Major, D960
5. Molto moderato
6. Andante sostenuto
7. Scherzo: Allegro vivace con delicatezza
8. Allegro, ma non troppo

One of the greatest ironies in music history is that Franz Schubert’s notoriously difficult Wanderer Fantasy was written to fulfill a commission by an amateur musician. No other piano work by Schubert requires nearly as much technical facility. Even the composer himself, frustrated by his own inability to play the finale, leapt from the piano in disgust during a concert and said, “The devil may play it, for I cannot!” the devil he referred to was Franz Liszt, then only eleven years old and a rising super virtuoso.

The Wanderer Fantasy gets its name (and thematic material) from a song (Der Wanderer D. 493) that Schubert published in 1821, only one year before he wrote the Fantasy. The song’s melody appears in its original form in the second section and in slightly altered forms for the other three sections. Schubert’s use of “thematic transformation” as the primary vehicle for musical development was probably one of the things that attracted Liszt to the piece in the first place. While the Wanderer Fantasy has four clearly distinct sections, it would be inaccurate to refer to them as “movements.” Schubert conceived of the piece as an unbroken whole, and the four sections are played without separation. This architectural design inspired Liszt for his own Sonata in B minor.

Schubert wrote over 600 art songs, and his skill to write beautiful vocally inspired music could not be more obvious than his last Piano Sonata in B flat major. Written a few months before his death in 1828, this – like the other two preceding it – was not published until ten years later. Perhaps due to the more intimate, lyrical character of Schubert’s piano works in general, his compositions were not immediately performed, as the more dramatic and brilliantly written works by the great romantics, such as Chopin, Liszt, Brahms, were preferred by the pianists looking for making an impression on audiences. In fact, by the middle of the 19th century, Liszt had created the first piano recital as a format to showcase one pianist’s virtuosity.

Schubert’s music can be enjoyed by those who listen for the finely crafted melodic lines, the detailed harmonic progressions and shades of tonal color. His pianistic style does not require the ultimate speed and endurance of dexterity from the performer, but rather the sensitivity to find the nuances of texture and dynamics to keep those long lines alive, preventing the many repeats sounding redundant. Those “heavenly lengths,” so typical on his large scale works, have to be heard by the listener as “continuity,” “re-enforcement,” “not-wanting-to-let-go” instead of mere reiterations. His last piano sonata has become a staple of the concert repertoire.


JDT 3449
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Piano Sonatas
Mozart, Brahms, Ravel, Prokofieff

Andreas Klein, Piano
JDT 3225
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Composer Piece Samples
W. A. Mozart Sonata in A minor, KV310
1. Allegro maestoso
2. Andante cantabile con espressivo
3. Presto
Maurice Ravel Sonatine
4. Modéré
5. Mouvement de Menuet
6. Animé
Sergei Prokofieff 7. Sonata No. 3
Allegro tempestoso
Moderato
Allegro temestoso
Lento e dolcissimo
Più animato
Allegro I
poco più mosso
Johannes Brahms Sonata in F minor, opus 5
8. Allegro maestoso
9. Andante espressivo
10. Scherzo: Allegro energico
11. Intermezzo: Andante molto
12. Finale: Allegro moderato ma rubato

The Sonata Form has fascinated – and challenged – all composers since 1750. What makes the multi-movement layout of a Sonata so compelling is the array of required musical contrasts and the possibility for the composer to tell a complete story. No other musical form features as many juxtapositions of tempo, rhythms, tonality and thematic materials: none of the dance forms, nor Suites, nor Rondos, nor Fugues, nor Fantasy, nor Prelude, Etudes, Impromptus can draw the listener into the world of musical dialogue, thesis and antithesis, stress and relieve, climax and resolve like the Sonata. As the outer form mutated from the loose series of dance movements into the typical three or four movement architecture, the "Sonata Allegro Form" emerged as the essential component of any work titled Sonata. It is this movement and its content of contrasting themes which engages the composers into presenting ever new structures using the balanced three part division: "Exposition", "Development Section", and "Recapitulation." At first, dissimilar themes are presented and later "developed" in the middle section: composers show variants of their rhythmical and melodic elements, perhaps combine themes, dissect, embellish, transpose them into different keys, rhythmically lengthen or compress them and transform their elements in order to carry on the musical drama. After this playful, emotional, or intellectual excursion - depending on the composer's style - the thematic material is "recapitulated" for reinforcement of the original tonality and as a temporary resolve to the different themes. Temporary only, as the following movements will showcase new material, but continue the musical plot, which typically ends with an energetic, brilliant finale.

The Repertoire on this CD features contrasting Sonatas by composers of four style periods. In addition to the stylistic differences in texture and sound, it is interesting to observe how the outer form changes: from the typical Mozartean three movements to the miniaturized Ravel Sonatina, with further compression to just one movement in Prokofiev (who still features elements of 4 movements). Yet Brahms, one of the great Romanic composers, expands his Sonata to even 5 movements, I have performed these four Sonatas in many recital programs and for reasons of an overall balance when listening to these works, the chronological order was discarded.

Andreas Klein


JDT 3225
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Dancing Through Time
Andreas Klein, Piano
JDT 3138
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Composer Piece Samples
Johann Sebastian Bach 1-7. French Suite V
Robert Schumann 8. Papillons, Op. 2
Frédéric Chopin 9. Polonaise in A flat major, Op. 53
Franz Liszt 10. Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6
Manuel de Falla 11. Ritual Fire Dance
Alberto Ginastera 12-14. Danzas Argentinas
Igor Stravinsky 15. Tango
George Gershwin 16-18. Three Preludes
Walter Gieseking 19-21. Three Dance Improvisations

JDT 3138
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Beethoven/Berg
Andreas Klein, Piano
JDT 3137
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Composer Piece Samples
Ludwig van Beethoven Sonata in E Major, Opus 109
1. Vivace, ma non troppo
2. Prestissimo
3. Gesangvoll, mit innigster Empfindung
Ludwig van Beethoven Sonata in A Major, Opus 101
4. Etwas lebhoft und mit der innegsten Empfindung
5. Lebhaft Marschmässig
6. Langsam und sehnsuchtsvoll - Zeitmab des ersten Stückes - Geschwinde doch nicht zu sehr, und mit Entschlossenheit
Alban Berg 7. Sonata, Opus 1; Massig bewegt

JDT 3137
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