JOSEF TAL (1910-2008): Cum mortuis in lingua mortua - Variations on a Theme by Mussorgsky, Essay II, TZVI AVNI (b.1927): Epitaph (Piano Sonata No. 2), From My Diary, GIL SHOHAT (b.1973): 3 Improvisations on Paintings, The Kiss of Salome.
Catalogue Number: 01O055
Description: Tal's Variations adopts the title of Mussorgsky's piece to refer to the Jewish dead from the Nazis' extermination attempt. Fragments of Mussorgsky's original are explored in seven variations and fugue which remain basically tonal and identifiably related to the theme. The much later Essay is largely atonal, with opposing elements juxtaposed in various complex relationships. The title of Avni's sonata refers both to the loss of his wife the year before he began the work, and to episodes in Jewish history. The piece is rich in harmony and melody, though not in a conventionally tonal sense. The Diary pieces are much more tonal, often texturally impressionistic character-pieces inspired by folk patterns, visual arts and historical figures. Shohat's Improvisations evoke the atmosphere of famous paintings by Munch, Klimt and Van Gogh, the last a sensuous waltz, while the virtuosic Kiss of Salome is a Lisztian extravaganza of technique and atmosphere. Heidrun Holtmann (piano).