ROMAN VLAD (b.1919): For Piano: Studi Dodecafonici, Variazioni intorno all'ultima Mazurka di Chopin, Sognando il Sogno: Varizaioni su di una variazione (Carlo Grante [piano]), Le ciel est vide for Chorus and Orchestra (Orchestra and Choir of Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome; Giuseppe Sinopoli. Rec. 1997).
Catalogue Number: 12K095
Label: Music & Arts
Description: The cantata 'The Sky is Empty' sets a text adapted from Jean Paul describing a terrifying dream-vision of an afterlife in which there is no God. Vlad's musical vocabulary has long been the most inclusive form of dodecaphony, in this case leading to a full and harmonically abundant expressionism, alternately agitated, violent and desolate. Composed a quarter-century after Busoni's death, the influence of Busoni's prophetic vision of the music of the future is tangible here, at least as strong as the more obvious Schoenberg influence. The piano works demonstrate the composer's conviction that even while adopting the techniques of the present, the legacy of the past should not be discarded. So the variations on Chopin's Op.68/4 Mazurka, while dodecaphonic and incorporating some extended playing techniques clearly extend the Romantic piano tradition (again, recalling Busoni more than a little). Likewise, the variations on Schumann's Träumerei, while fully worked according to extended dodecaphonic principles, remain very audibly related to their source, both in content and exquisite pianistic technique. The Dodecaphonic Studies are complex and demanding, while remaining pianistically grateful and harmonically sumptuous.