BORIS BLACHER (1903-1975): 24 Preludes for Piano, Piano Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2, 3 Toccatas for Piano, Violin Sonata, Op. 18, Cello Sonata (Gerty Herzog [piano], Kolja Blacher [violin], Eberhard Finke [cello], Sonata for Violin Solo (Blacher), Quintet for Flute, Oboe and String Trio (Florian Donderer [violin], Martin Stegner [viola], Knut Weber [cello], Ernst-Burghard Hilse [flute], Dominik Wollenweber [oboe]), HANNS EISLER (1898-1962): Scherzo for String Trio (Blacher [violin], Walter Küssner [viola], Johannes Moser [cello], PAUL DESSAU (1894-1979): 4 Bagatelles for Viola and Piano (Küssner [viola], Özgür Aydin [piano]), KURT WEILL (1900-1950): 7 Stücke nach der Dreigroschenoper for Violin and Piano (arr. Stefan Frenkel [1902-1979]) (Blacher [violin], Aydin [piano]).

Catalogue Number: 05R056

Label: Phil.harmonie

Reference: PHIL. 06029

Format: CD

Price: $31.98

Description: A set for knowledgeable Blacher fans. The composer’s son, Kolja, introduces the set in one of only two English-language notes (the other is a fascinating couple of pages from Blacher’s wife Gerty Herzog about the scary life of a half-Jew and that of her mother, a full Jew in a “privileged marriage” during the war years of the Third Reich). These are archival recordings (we are told that the Preludes were recorded by Herzog after her husband’s death but, since she lived to 92 and died only the year before last, that doesn’t narrow it down much) but the presence of his fellow leftists Dessau and Eisler, who ended up on the eastern side of the Iron Curtain, shows why Blacher might be described as a “happy serialist”, all his works carrying a rhythmic, neo-classical lightness which contrasts with his colleagues’ dour seriousness. No recording dates, no individual track listing for multi-movement works but really good German notes and lots of photos of Blacher and his family over the years. 2 CDs.

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