• 8 min

Programme Note

The four pieces from Schoenberg's 'Sechs kline Klavierstucke op. 19' are yet another example of the way Hans Abrahamsen engages in an exploratory dialogue with the music of other composers. The four pieces - all the slow movernents from op. 19 - are arranged for a mixed chamber orchestra of soloists, of the type Schoenberg might have composed for. Thus they explore not only the tonality of the expressionistic piano pieces but also the structure of the music of a composer who was extrernely conscious of both these aspects.
Schoenberg's expressionistic piano pieces, the sixth and fast of which was written in memory of Gustav Mahler, who died in 1911, have in Abrahamsen's hands not only been made sensual but actually have a kind of floating physicality; a paradoxical and fascinating expressiveness which according to the score is to be achieved by playing the pieces as slowly as possible slower than they could be realized on the piano, in fact more or less in slow motion. The reworking of the Schoenbeng pieces is dedicated to the Schoenberg Ensemble and the conductor Rembert de Leeuw.
Thomas Michelsen, 2004