Spohr started writing Lieder when he was in his late teens and, although he had a great sensitivity towards the text, he initially lacked a competent hand at the keyboard. His collection of Six Songs, Op. 72 is his first use of true Romantic poetry.
Dinu Lipatti is best known as one of the leading pianists of the 20th century. But he started composing and improvising since childhood. His Piano Concerto in the Classical Style takes the traditional form and creates a neo-classical world in the modern age.
Strauss lost his position as president of the State Music Bureau earlier. By writing this work for Japan, Germany's ally, Strauss was seeking to reinstate his name as a good German composer. Old sketch materials were used in the work, including the famous Cherry-blossom festival and the attack of the samurai.
This work brought together Bittner's skill in opera song and the familiar Bach musical cryptogram. This isn’t our J.S. Bach, however, but David Josef Bach, music critic of the Vienna Arbeiterzeitung, created for a present given to David Bach on his 50th birthday.
This 1972 work Dune takes the imagery of a sand dune – soft, granular – and exposes it to the effect of ‘accumulation processes.’ Think of a sand dune, blown by the wind and formed and reformed into new shapes with each whisper of the wind.
Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 2 is a fiery work that captures the Hungarian spirit in a work of virtuoso demands – the violinist has to give us not only the dash but also the reflective in the melody. Brahms regarded the works in this collection as ‘genuine children of the…gypsies…’
it takes the best of the best, starting with the Marschallin’s opening scene with her young lover, Octavian. The night of passion (listen to those horns!) changes to a tender melody as Octavian reappears as the Rosenkavalier, the Knight of the Rose.
This is neither a calm and loving serenade nor a bright morning piece. It’s a piece of a disturbed night. Snatches of melody appear and disappear, and he uses pizzicato on the viola, perhaps to be a guitar. The textures change – perhaps we’re looking at the ever-changing sea with its light and shadows.