HEINZ HOLLIGER (b.1939): Partita for Piano, Romancendres for Cello and Piano, Feuerwerklein zum "Quatorze Juillet" for Piano, Chaconne for Cello.
Catalogue Number: 07Q085
Reference: GEN 14330
Description: Romancendres takes as its point of departure Clara Schumann's burning (to "cinders") some late "Romances" by Robert, the only extant traces of which are brief references in a letter from Joachim. Holliger has constructed a kind of ghostly narrative, evoking the lost pieces, their destruction, Schumann's tragic end, and aspects of his life and work. As befits its subject, the work contains a myriad of puzzles, cyphers and hidden meanings - numbers that refer to important dates in the protagonists' lives and letters derived from their names are translated into series that determine parameters of the music, and so on. Extended playing techniques abound, in an emotionally intense, contemporary expressionistic vocabulary. Similar devices are used to construct the pitch and rhythm series on which the other works are based - Sacher's name in the case of the Chaconne, and a multiplicity of references to music and musicians in the Partita, dedicated to Andras Schiff. Although the idiom is decidedly atonal (with some creative use of extended techniques for good measure, like the beautiful, spectral, enigmatic 'Sphinx' movements, played entirely inside the piano), references to specific works of Liszt, Bach, Schumann and others are detectable throughout, like pieces of an intricately constructed puzzle. Daniel Haefliger (cello), Gilles Vonsattel (piano).