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Klein: Piano Sonata, Fantasie & Fugue, String Trio, Choral Works


Label:  Koch International Classics Catalog #: 7230   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Gideon KleinTraditional
Performer:  Ora ShiranFelix NemirovskyMichael KugelCarmela Leiman,   ... 
Conductor:  Pavel Kühn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Group for New Music membersPrague Philharmonic Chorus members
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 51 Mins. 

Special Order: This CD requires additional production time and ships within 2-3 business days.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Klein disc is volume two of Koch's Terezín Music Anthology. The three instrumental works by Gideon Klein (1919-45) previously appeared in a rival Terezín series on Channel Classics; that disc was reviewed by John Wiser in Fanfare 15:2, p. 567. Music by Haas, Klein, Krása, and Ullmann has been played for some time; that it took half a century to get them widely recorded is a reminder of how little attention the world has paid to many aspects of the Holocaust. I am no exception; I did not know any of their music before hearing a Boston Symphony performance of Haas's A Study for Orchestra in early 1991. Belated as they may be, the Terezín anthologies on various labels are all most welcome, both for widening our Read more understanding of the terrible events of the time and for bringing us some fine music.

Klein was known before the war as a brilliant pianist; he was mostly self-taught as a composer. These three instrumental works were written at Terezín; they are first-rate music, needing no added sympathy for the horrendous circumstances surrounding their composition nor any allowances for their composer's youth—Klein died at twenty-five. The Fantasie and Fugue for string quartet (1942-43) contains much twelve-tone writing and is clearly indebted to Schoenberg and the Second Viennese School; it is powerful, serious music. The 1943 piano sonata has the emotional charge of Berg and contains ecstatic moments reminiscent of Webern. The string trio of 1944, Klein's final work, abandons Vienna and enters the harmonic world of Bartók and Janá?ek. Two brisk, dancelike outer movement surround a long, slow set of variations on a Moravian folk song.

The a cappella vocal works were written for amateur groups at Terezín. The two madrigals set Czech translations for poems by Friedrich Hölderlin and François Villon. Each is for two sopranos, alto, tenor, and bass; they are highly chromatic, dissonant pieces, demanding much of the singers. Pvrní h?ích (Original Sin) is an original choral setting of a Czech folk poem, and the final seven pieces are choral arrangements of folk songs Czech, Slovakian, Moravian, and Russian, the last a familiar favorite of Red Army choruses. The arrangements sound bland compared to Klein's own music.

The instrument performances are of highest quality. Wiser said the performances on the Channel Classics disc were “meticulously prepared,“ but that part of the sonata “deserves more forceful statement.“ Pianist Sternfield sounds highly committed throughout. The difficult madrigals are well sung; the choral folk songs are a bit routine. The recordings are excellent as are the annotations; texts and English translations are included. We should all get to know this outstanding composer, and this disc is enthusiastically recommended as the way to do so.

-- James H. North, FANFARE [11/1993] Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Fantasie and Fugue for String Quartet by Gideon Klein
Performer:  Ora Shiran (Violin), Felix Nemirovsky (Cello), Michael Kugel (Viola),
Carmela Leiman (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Group for New Music members
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; Bohemia 
2. Sonata for Piano by Gideon Klein
Performer:  Allan Sternfield (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; Bohemia 
3. Trio for Violin, Viola and Cello by Gideon Klein
Performer:  Michael Kugel (Viola), Ora Shiran (Violin), Felix Nemirovsky (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Group for New Music members
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; Theresienstadt, Czec 
4. Madrigals (2) by Gideon Klein
Conductor:  Pavel Kühn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Chorus members
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Bohemia 
5. Pvrni hrich by Traditional
Performer:  Vladimir Dolezal (Tenor)
Written: Czech Republic 
Language: Czech 
6. Uz Mne Kone Vyvádeji by Gideon Klein
Conductor:  Pavel Kühn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Chorus members
Period: Modern 
Written: 1942 
Venue:  Domovina Studio, Prague, Czech Republic 
Length: 2 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Notes: Version 1. 
7. Uz Mne Kone Vyvádeji by Gideon Klein
Conductor:  Pavel Kühn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Chorus members
Period: Modern 
Written: 1942 
Notes: Version 2. 
8. Aby nás Pán Buh miloval by Gideon Klein
Conductor:  Pavel Kühn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Chorus members
Period: Modern 
Written: 1942 
Venue:  Domovina Studio, Prague, Czech Republic 
Length: 0 Minutes 46 Secs. 
9. Na tych nasich lukách by Gideon Klein
Conductor:  Pavel Kühn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Chorus members
Period: Modern 
Written: 1942 
Venue:  Domovina Studio, Prague, Czech Republic 
Length: 1 Minutes 5 Secs. 
10. Chodila liska by Gideon Klein
Conductor:  Pavel Kühn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Chorus members
Period: Modern 
Written: 1942 
Venue:  Domovina Studio, Prague, Czech Republic 
Length: 1 Minutes 33 Secs. 
11. Chodîme chodíme by Gideon Klein
Conductor:  Pavel Kühn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Chorus members
Period: Modern 
Written: 1942 
Venue:  Domovina Studio, Prague, Czech Republic 
Length: 0 Minutes 56 Secs. 
12. Poljusko by Gideon Klein
Conductor:  Pavel Kühn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Chorus members
Period: Modern 
Written: 1942 
Venue:  Domovina Studio, Prague, Czech Republic 
Length: 1 Minutes 11 Secs. 

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