The Vienna Connection

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It was Europe’s culture capitals in the first half of the 20th century where “the music played” – in the truest sense. Places which were tied in with connections which enriched a music scene that extended beyond the boundaries of nationalities, schools and styles, a scene which tolerated virtually anything, made many things possible, and allowed some things to come to life in the first place. On one hand stood the awakening national consciousness, a political phenomenon carried out between restoration and social (if not socialist) departures in new directions. On the other hand, the bursting of the borders of tonality, the function of harmony, and the guiderails of classical/romantic canon of form shook the foundations of musical history, which up to that point had continued to progress in a linear fashion.
Vienna was one of the much-described melting pots of this era. This recording is a striking piece of evidence of the diverse forms of compositional expression which were allowed to coexist with one another – and at what extreme levels. It demonstrates the courage and self-confidence of composers, no matter whether they (from our present-day perspective) looked back over their shoulders or cast their gaze far into the future.
In the 1920s, Hans Gál was one of Austria’s most famous composers; his stylistic tightrope walk between Viennese elegance, late Romanticism’s continued exhaustion of the tonal palette and the perfect command over classical structures is enjoying a late renaissance. The slow movement of Ernst Krenek’s Violin Sonata Op. 3 opens a coherent, forceful musical universe to the listener. Its wealth of musical ideas points right at the roots of this fellow 20th century composer’s creativity. And at the same time, it demonstrates the abundance of his inventive capacity, which was not to diminish until many decades later. Egon Kornauth’s influence from the late Romantic period is unmistakeable, and listeners will never fail to be impressed by his melodic lines and the joy he takes in the expression of classical form. These are “Connections” which were made in an epoch in which the musical determinism of the post-war era had not yet arisen and composers could still enjoy writing music purely for the sake of fine art.
Item number EDA 32
Barcode 4012476000329
Release date 2/24/2010
Category Chamber Music
Label EDA Records
Number of units 1
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