FERDINAND BRUCKMANN (b.1930): Violin Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2, Fantasie "In Memoriam" for Violin and Piano, 5 Bagatelles for Violin and Piano, Introduction and Rondo for Cello and Piano, 6 Bagatelles for Piano, Suite for Piano Four Hands, Italian Suite for Piano Four Hands, Epilog for Solo Violin.
Catalogue Number: 01Q052
Reference: TXA 14041
Description: Bruckmann has a decided gift for the highly expressive miniature - very few individual movements here are anywhere near two minutes long, yet all manage to make a clearly articulated musical statement of one sort or another. The composer's career has been mainly in music education, and some of the pieces, like the sprightly and entertaining piano bagatelles - originally titled 'studies' - serve a pedagogical purpose as well as forming a perfectly satisfactory concert suite. One gets the impression that Bruckmann thoroughly enjoyed himself in the act of composition, as humorous elements pop up throughout these works; the Italian Suite contains a tongue in cheek tribute to Liszt, for instance; there are borrowings from Tchaikovsky and Haydn (the latter reworked dodecaphonically), and dances - waltzes, a tarantella - feature in several pieces, often introducing sudden technical challenges for the performer. Haydnesque musical surprises abound - sudden dramatic outbursts, instantly dismissed with a the suggestion that such a thing couldn't really have happened, are a favourite device. Not all the pieces are lightweight; Epilogue, In Memoriam and the two succinct but substantial violin sonatas have considerable depth. The composer's instrument is the piano, and a friendship with a violinist described as a 'highly gifted amateur' gave rise to several works, including the First Violin Sonata, in which the expressive character of the music is shared equally, but the piano part is noticeably more technically formidable than that for the ostensible soloist. Of the composer's years of teaching in Japan there is not a trace in terms of absorbed exoticism of vocabulary, but there seems to be a fondness for jazzy syncopation here and there. Where Bruckmann uses twelve-tone technique, he wears its constraints lightly, and overall his idiom is broadly tonal. A thoroughly accessible and enjoyably varied program me. Kayako Bruckman (violin), Michael van Krücker (piano), René Berman (cello), Heinz Walter Florin (piano).