WOLFGANG RIHM (b.1952): Klavierstücke No. 1, Op. 81, No. 2, Op. 8b, No. 4, No. 5 "Tombeau", No. 6 "Bagatellen" and No. 7, 3 Klavierstücke, 4 Klavierstücke "Elegien", Zwiesprache, 5 Klavierstücke, Nachstudie, 6 Preludes, Ländler, Auf einem anderen Blatt, Brahmsliebewalzer.
Catalogue Number: 06J093
Reference: TLS 108
Description: The piano has been important to Rihm from the earliest years of his career - he describes its role thus: "The touch and feel has graphic energy . . . the direct mixture of this with sound gives a spontaneous musical phenomenon". Most of these works are from the 1960s and 1970s - there is little for solo piano in his output from 1980 onward - and are thus highly structured, though in some cases - notably in the series of 'Piano Pieces' 1 through 7, not a linked cycle, and not presented as such on the CDs - the juxtaposition of hugely contrasting material, from pointillistic near-silence to explosive outbursts, gives the music a spontaneous, improvisatory character. Even early on - in the 1967 Elegien, for instance, Rihm was not afraid to refer to romantic models in form and harmony. Although technically demanding in their precision, the aggressively pyrotechnical demands of, say, the Stockhausen Klavierstücke are largely absent (with a few minutes of exception here or there, like the careering thrill-ride of the third of the 3 Klavierstücke, for instance). The longest work, Nachstudie, is based on another work, Sphere, an increasingly common Rihm device; the piece is a study in sonority, giving the impression of layers of overpainting of an existing image. An intriguing and by no means unapproachable survey of an important aspect of an important composer's output. 3 CDs. Udo Falkner (piano).