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GrauSchumacher Piano Duo|Kosmos

Kosmos

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo

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In this fascinating collection of twentieth century works for two pianos or piano four-hands, the GrauSchumacher Piano Duo nests its centerpiece, Peter Eötvös' Kosmos, in the middle of the album, with short works from suites by four other composers flanked around it. Immediately surrounding it are movements from Bartók's Seven Pieces for Two Pianos from Mikrokosmos (1939). Preceding and following the Bartók are movements from Stockhausen's Tierkreis (Zodiac) (1975-1976). Around those are movements from Kurtág's ongoing series Játékok (begun in 1973), and the album opens and closes with movements from Crumb's Celestial Mechanics (Makrokosmos IV) (1979), subtitled Cosmic Dances. The "cosmic" theme is pretty clear -- even some of the Kurtág pieces have to do with stars and with infinity. The program is brilliantly structured; it has a clear and meaningful trajectory that situates the Eötvös as a piece with the specific gravity to justify the placement of the other briefer but far more famous works circling around it as commentary on it. Eötvös wrote Kosmos when he was 17, in response to Yuri Gagarin's space flight. It's a colorful, evocative piece that inventively conjures up images of the mystery and vastness of space, as well as the sparkling delicacy of the celestial bodies as we experience them in the night sky. In spite of the diversity of tonal languages used here, those characteristics -- mystery, vastness, and delicacy -- are found in varying degrees in all the pieces on the album, giving it an especially satisfying atmospheric unity. The mystical, twinkling filigree of the movements from Tierkreis (originally written for music boxes) is particularly suggestive of a field of stars, while the movements from Celestial Mechanics, with their amplification and use of extended techniques, such as playing inside the piano, have an expansive grandeur. Andreas Grau and Götz Schumacher, who have been performing together since they were teenagers, play with consummate assurance, finesse, and tremendous energy. The sound of Neos' SACD is absolutely clean, with an appropriately open spaciousness. While the CD should certainly be of strong interest to fans of new piano music, the pieces have such an immediate aural appeal that it deserves to attract a broad range of listeners.
© TiVo

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Kosmos

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo

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Celestial Mechanics, 'Makrokosmos IV' (George Crumb)

1
I. Alpha Centauri
00:03:30

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, Ensemble - George Crumb, Composer

(C) 2013 NEOS Music (P) 2013 NEOS Music

2
II. Beta Cygni
00:03:48

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, Ensemble - George Crumb, Composer

(C) 2013 NEOS Music (P) 2013 NEOS Music

Jatekok (Games), Book 8 (György Kurtág)

3
Virag az ember … [olelkezo hangok] [Flowers we are … [embracing sounds]]
00:00:31

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, Ensemble - György Kurtag, Composer

(C) 2013 NEOS Music (P) 2013 NEOS Music

Jatekok (Games), Book 3 (György Kurtág)

4
Jatek a vegtelennel [Play with Infinity]
00:00:59

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, Ensemble - György Kurtag, Composer

(C) 2013 NEOS Music (P) 2013 NEOS Music

Jatekok (Games), Book 1 (György Kurtág)

5
…a csillag is virag… […flowers also the stars…]
00:00:36

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, Ensemble - György Kurtag, Composer

(C) 2013 NEOS Music (P) 2013 NEOS Music

Tierkreis, Work No. 41 1/2 (realization for 2 pianos) (Karlheinz Stockhausen)

6
12. Capricorn
00:01:45

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, Ensemble - Anonymous, Composer - Karlheinz Stockhausen, Composer

(C) 2013 NEOS Music (P) 2013 NEOS Music

7
3. Aries
00:01:38

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, Ensemble - Anonymous, Composer - Karlheinz Stockhausen, Composer

(C) 2013 NEOS Music (P) 2013 NEOS Music

Mikrokosmos, 7 Pieces for 2 Pianos, 4 Hands, BB 120 (Béla Bartók)

8
1. Bulgarian rhythm - Allegro molto (arr. of Vol. 4, No. 113)
00:01:14

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, Ensemble - Béla Bartok, Composer

(C) 2013 NEOS Music (P) 2013 NEOS Music

9
2. Chord and trill study - Moderato (arr. of Vol. 3, No. 69)
00:01:10

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, Ensemble - Béla Bartok, Composer

(C) 2013 NEOS Music (P) 2013 NEOS Music

10
3. Perpetuum mobile - Allegro molto (arr. of Vol. 5, No. 135)
00:01:12

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, Ensemble - Béla Bartok, Composer

(C) 2013 NEOS Music (P) 2013 NEOS Music

Kosmos (version for 2 pianos) (Peter Eötvös)

11
Kosmos (version for 2 pianos)
00:12:42

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, Ensemble - Peter Eötvös, Composer

(C) 2013 NEOS Music (P) 2013 NEOS Music

Mikrokosmos, 7 Pieces for 2 Pianos, 4 Hands, BB 120 (Béla Bartók)

12
4. Short canon and its inversion - Allegro (arr. of Vol. 5, No. 123)
00:00:56

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, Ensemble - Béla Bartok, Composer

(C) 2013 NEOS Music (P) 2013 NEOS Music

13
5. New Hungarian folksong - Ben ritmato (arr. of Vol. 5, No. 127)
00:01:01

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, Ensemble - Béla Bartok, Composer

(C) 2013 NEOS Music (P) 2013 NEOS Music

14
6. Chromatic invention - Allegro (arr. of Vol. 6, No. 145)
00:01:10

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, Ensemble - Béla Bartok, Composer

(C) 2013 NEOS Music (P) 2013 NEOS Music

15
7. Ostinato - Vivacissimo (arr. of Vol. 6, No. 146)
00:02:27

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, Ensemble - Béla Bartok, Composer

(C) 2013 NEOS Music (P) 2013 NEOS Music

Tierkreis, Work No. 41 1/2 (realization for 2 pianos) (Karlheinz Stockhausen)

16
9. Libra
00:02:26

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, Ensemble - Anonymous, Composer - Karlheinz Stockhausen, Composer

(C) 2013 NEOS Music (P) 2013 NEOS Music

17
6. Cancer
00:01:40

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, Ensemble - Anonymous, Composer - Karlheinz Stockhausen, Composer

(C) 2013 NEOS Music (P) 2013 NEOS Music

Jatekok (Games), Book 1 (György Kurtág)

18
…ez megegyszer - Virag az ember… […and once more - Flowers We Are…]
00:01:03

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, Ensemble - György Kurtag, Composer

(C) 2013 NEOS Music (P) 2013 NEOS Music

Jatekok (Games), Book 2 (György Kurtág)

19
[csillagzene] [star-music]
00:00:45

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, Ensemble - György Kurtag, Composer

(C) 2013 NEOS Music (P) 2013 NEOS Music

Jatekok (Games), Book 4 (György Kurtág)

20
Hommage a Soproni
00:02:07

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, Ensemble - György Kurtag, Composer

(C) 2013 NEOS Music (P) 2013 NEOS Music

Celestial Mechanics, 'Makrokosmos IV' (George Crumb)

21
III. Gamma Draconis
00:06:13

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, Ensemble - George Crumb, Composer

(C) 2013 NEOS Music (P) 2013 NEOS Music

22
IV. Delta Orionis
00:08:50

GrauSchumacher Piano Duo, Ensemble - George Crumb, Composer

(C) 2013 NEOS Music (P) 2013 NEOS Music

Album Description

In this fascinating collection of twentieth century works for two pianos or piano four-hands, the GrauSchumacher Piano Duo nests its centerpiece, Peter Eötvös' Kosmos, in the middle of the album, with short works from suites by four other composers flanked around it. Immediately surrounding it are movements from Bartók's Seven Pieces for Two Pianos from Mikrokosmos (1939). Preceding and following the Bartók are movements from Stockhausen's Tierkreis (Zodiac) (1975-1976). Around those are movements from Kurtág's ongoing series Játékok (begun in 1973), and the album opens and closes with movements from Crumb's Celestial Mechanics (Makrokosmos IV) (1979), subtitled Cosmic Dances. The "cosmic" theme is pretty clear -- even some of the Kurtág pieces have to do with stars and with infinity. The program is brilliantly structured; it has a clear and meaningful trajectory that situates the Eötvös as a piece with the specific gravity to justify the placement of the other briefer but far more famous works circling around it as commentary on it. Eötvös wrote Kosmos when he was 17, in response to Yuri Gagarin's space flight. It's a colorful, evocative piece that inventively conjures up images of the mystery and vastness of space, as well as the sparkling delicacy of the celestial bodies as we experience them in the night sky. In spite of the diversity of tonal languages used here, those characteristics -- mystery, vastness, and delicacy -- are found in varying degrees in all the pieces on the album, giving it an especially satisfying atmospheric unity. The mystical, twinkling filigree of the movements from Tierkreis (originally written for music boxes) is particularly suggestive of a field of stars, while the movements from Celestial Mechanics, with their amplification and use of extended techniques, such as playing inside the piano, have an expansive grandeur. Andreas Grau and Götz Schumacher, who have been performing together since they were teenagers, play with consummate assurance, finesse, and tremendous energy. The sound of Neos' SACD is absolutely clean, with an appropriately open spaciousness. While the CD should certainly be of strong interest to fans of new piano music, the pieces have such an immediate aural appeal that it deserves to attract a broad range of listeners.
© TiVo

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