PETER FEUCHTWANGER (1930-2016): 3 Studies in Eastern Idiom, Variations on an Eastern Folk Tune (Books 1 and 2), JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897): Paganini Variations, Op. 35.
Catalogue Number: 02T054
Reference: 904 2047-6
Format: SACD hybrid
Description: This tribute to his teacher by one of Feuchtwanger's last pupils explores pieces based on the great pedagogue's compositions inspired by his expertise and knowledge concerning music of the East. The two books of Variations is both a major exercise in rendering Eastern idioms - both in terms of scales and melodic structure and instrumental techniques, in terms of the western grand piano. In one sense this is a 'conventional' set of variations by a master pianist-composer, but because of the source material and the way in which it is treated, it retains an 'exotic' flavor throughout, and presents the performer with a completely unfamiliar set of virtuoso challenges in articulation of immensely long melodic phrases. Unlike the Studies, most of the variations don't explicitly emulate Eastern performance practice, but their derivation is clear. There are similarities to the very rare occasions on which Sorabji referred to his Persian/Indian background in his music, and it is probably not fanciful to suggest that certain of his Transcendental Studies would be a valuable preparation for playing Feuchtwanger's Variations, or that the techniques that Feuchtwanger demands would contribute to the performance of Sorabji. Feuchtwanger's Studies explore the textures, sounds and modes of Indian, Persian and Arabic music, with drones, rapidly repeated notes and the characteristic intervals of these folk musics. Dhun is based on a rāg and evokes the sitar; Tariqa I and II emulate the Persian santur. Lennart Felix (piano).