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Classical Music Review

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Schoenberg Piano Music
And His 17 Fragments


Composer: Arnold Schoenberg
Performed by: Yoko Hirota (piano)
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 08 March 2019

A selection of Arnold Schoenberg's work is release by Navona Records, performed on piano by Yoko Hirota. This includes three of the composer’s completed works along with the 17 fragments that he never brought to completion...

Those that enjoy traditionally structured classical music may find this album a little heavy going. Schoenberg's work is at best atonal, and some may describe it as chaos. Those that study and appreciate the composer's form would probably describe it as delivering beauty out of chaos.

The evolution of Schoenberg’s musical thought can be clearly traced in the fragments, which were written throughout the first quarter of the 20th Century. The influence of Brahmsian piano writing is evident in the first four fragments; by the time he had composed the ninth, his demand for articulation had become predominant. The twelfth fragment contains a character dissimilar to both his previous works and fragments, in that the harmonic language is rather tonal and in the vein of Prokofiev’s works.

While it's not the sort of music I normally tend to listen to for pleasure, as a complex and engaging collection of pieces that challenge the normal conventions of classical music you can't argue that Schoenberg certainly delivers an engaging and thought provoking collection here.


Darren Rea

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