ROMAN BERGER (b.1930): Piano Sonata No. 3 “da camera”, Epilogue (Ommagio a L.v.B.) for Cello, Clarinet and Piano, Allegro frenetico con reminiscenza for Solo Cello, Pathetique for Cello and Piano, Impromptu for Solo Clarinet.
Catalogue Number: 08R065
Description: Reading of Berger's work as music theoretician and the extramusical disciplines on which he has drawn in his compositions, one might reach the erroneous conclusion that here is a dry, 'interesting' academic. What one actually hears is a passionate, extrovert idiom that the composer likens to expressionism, based on 'the drama of existence', rich in harmony, generous in texture, full of emotional impact. This makes more sense when one considers the composer's outspoken, and risky, stance in opposition to repression in 20th century Eastern Europe. Pathetique and Epilogue (the latter memorably expanding gestures from Beethoven sonatas) are expressions of intense personal grief, related to Berger's wife's illness and death. The piano sonata 'da camera' was written in memory of fellow composer Frico Kafenda, and with movement titles including 'con tristezza' and 'inquieto', one gets a pretty good idea of the general mood of the piece, from 1971, which is more freely atonal than the later works here, though just as expressive. The cello Allegro is based on an earlier chamber work, De Profundis, a single imploring solo line. Berger Trio (cello, clarinet, piano).