Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Schoenberg: The Piano Music (Double Bill) - Serkin (2004); Bucquet (1973)

Arnold Schoenberg
Das Klavierwerk

Peter Serkin
Arcana 315

There is Bach's Well Tempered Clavier...... and then there is Beethoven's Last 3 Sonatas and the Diabelli Variations...surely Chopin's Préludes and Etudes, and Brahms' late gems of the Op. 116-119... and definitely Debussy's Etudes.
And then there's Arnold Schoenberg's Piano Music.


Of course I don't mean to overlook the many unmentioned milestones composed in between by the likes of Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann: this is how I view the development of piano literature and its most important steps forward in the incredibly dense 200 years elapsed between Bach's 1st Book (1722) and Schoenberg's Suite Op. 25 (1923).

And always keep in mind that the Viennese genius' work, although highly intellectual, shall disclose to you when you listen to it with your heart. This is some of the most humane music written. Part of it (Op. 11 for instance) is still late-romantic (well, very late). But when serialism is later introduced, Schoenberg is able to surpass his own mastership by making his musical revolution sound so touching (try the Menuet & Trio of the Suite Op. 25).

Peter Serkin's recording from 2004 is a classic, you can't go wrong with his intellectual precision and superb articulation (the American pianist, Rudolf's son, is a Bach specialist himself).


Flac, Image & Covers

Marie-Françoise Bucquet
Philips 6500 510

Marie-Françoise Bucquet's 1973 recording is so beautifully played that it should never be forgotten. Sadly, having been out-of-print since its original release and never transferred to digital - it probably will.

Born in Normandy, Bucquet studied in Vienna with more than one of Schoenberg's pupils (including the great Eduard Steuermann), then became Boulez's protégé back in Paris at IRCAM. Her approach to these immortal piano pieces is wholehearted: somewhat delicate yet lucid, and Bucquet maintains a praiseworthy beauty of tone throughout the whole journey.



LP rip
Ape & Covers

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