DESKTOP
TABLET (max. 1024px)
MOBILE (max. 640px)
Return to Top
Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

LEBRECHT LISTENS | A Bauhaus Inspired Piano Album To Tweak The Ear

By Norman Lebrecht on May 15, 2020

Music Around The Bauhaus (MDG)

★★★★☆

🎧 Presto Classical

I wish more piano albums were like this, formed by an original idea and a lot of unfamiliar sounds to tweak the ear. All five composers performed were involved in some way with the Bauhaus that Walter Gropius founded at Weimar in 1919 to rethink the look of the built environment. Gropius was wedded to visual austerity even while he was married to Alma Mahler and the composers who gathered around him were not entirely a bundle of laughs. (One who does not feature here is Erwin Ratz, Gropius’s secretary, who went on to become a hugely controversial editor of the Mahler symphonies.)

We start here with Stefan Wolpe (1902-72), a Berliner who was Ratz’s best friend and who could, when he chose, forsake the atonal confession and write almost like Kurt Weill. He composed a deliciously entertaining set of marches that Steffen Schleiermacher plays as if they were cabaret songs, rich in irony.

Josef Mattias Hauer (1883-1959) claimed to have invented the 12-note row ahead of Arnold Schoenberg. On this evidence, he lacks the stringency of an ideologue and is tempted to imitate bird noises at the piano.

Wladimir Vogel (1896-1984), whose name means bird, was a Russian-born student of Scriabin and Busoni who was passionately interested in architecture and serialism. His close friends included the American George Antheil (1900-59) and the German music critic Hans Heinz Stuckenschmidt (1901-88). Vogel and Stuckenschmit were deadly serious types, until Antheil who was a total anarchist. Schleiermacher brings them together in a raging 1920s musical party. There are 27 tracks on this album and not one of them is dull. Some are barely music. Just listen.

To read more from Norman Lebrecht, follow him on Slippedisc.com.

Norman Lebrecht’s new book Genius and Anxiety is available now.

#LUDWIGVAN

Want more updates on classical music and opera news and reviews? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for all the latest.

Norman Lebrecht

Norman Lebrecht is one of the most widely-read commentators on music, culture and cultural politics. He is a regular presenter on BBC Radio 3 and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Standpoint, Sinfini and other publications. His blog, Slipped Disc, is among the most widely read cultural sites online, breaking exclusive stories and campaigning against human abuse and acts of injustice in the cultural industries.

Norman Lebrecht

Norman Lebrecht is one of the most widely-read commentators on music, culture and cultural politics. He is a regular presenter on BBC Radio 3 and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Standpoint, Sinfini and other publications. His blog, Slipped Disc, is among the most widely read cultural sites online, breaking exclusive stories and campaigning against human abuse and acts of injustice in the cultural industries.
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300
comments powered by Disqus

Ludwig Van Toronto

LEBRECHT LISTENS | A Bauhaus Inspired Piano Album To Tweak The Ear

By Norman Lebrecht on May 15, 2020

Formed by an original idea and a lot of unfamiliar sounds to tweak the ear, there, are 27 tracks on this album and not one of them is dull.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300

REMOTE| Lawrence Cherney: ‘COVID Has Left Many Of Us With Spiritual Questions’

By Michael Zarathus-Cook on June 1, 2020

Soundstreams' Lawrence Cherney talks about planning during the pandemic, and a little healthy skepticism about the new normal.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article

CRITIC'S PICKS | Virtual Concerts You Absolutely Need To See This Week (Streaming Edition May 18 – 24)

By Joseph So on May 18, 2020

Classical music and opera events streaming on the web for the week of May 18 – 24.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_low_590x300
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700

We have detected that you are using an adblocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website. Please whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.