Herbert Henck has been campaigning tirelessly for modern music for most of his life as a pianist - both by organising concerts and performing live as well as by mapping the scene of current composers in a total collection of over 50 records.
John Cage/Herbert Henck: Locations (ECM New Series 1842/43)
Still, he has kept his eyes and ears open to everything that fascinates him: Among the albums he played on, there is also a rendition of Bach's "Wohltemperiertes Klavier" as well as a string of records containing piano improvisations. His commitment doesn't end there, though: He has been a prolific writer and published quite a few papers and articles, many of which can be read on his excellent and informative homepage.
How are you? Where are you?
15 Questions to Herbert Henck
I am fine, and as flattered as bothered to answer questions. Of course, I am sitting in front of a keyboard — this time of a PC, writing these answers as an attachment to an e-mail.
Right now? Answering your questions is my next job. A little later, I am taking my daughter to her riding lessons in a village nearby. The Klavier-Festival Ruhr is right ahead.
What can you tell us about your performance?
Which of the other performances will you definitely attend? None, since I have to teach every day from Monday to Thursday and to give a concert on Friday evening. So I need every minute to concentrate on the work I was invited to play. It seems basically a good idea to me. Some people are reluctant to enter concert halls, and sometimes it seems easier to go into a church or a museum or any other room which is built for other reasons than music. Whether or not this is an advantage depends on the actual location.
It is important that music and the room match aesthetically. On a more general level: What constitutes a good live performance in your opinion? A good performance is one where everything worked what I intended to do.
But, of course, this is the rare exception. It depends on the music I am playing, the hall, the audience, the instrument — the situation; there are so many factors which are different with each performance; unpredictable ones, so to say. What does it matter if I like the circumstances or not? To make the right decisions and to be free to make decision at all.
Is there a crisis? I have no idea. What do you tell them? There is no reason to answer this question in a general way. The history of music and the market have developed in such a way, that there are many recordings of the same pieces available.
You might make your choice. As long as there are customers and the products sell, there will be new recordings. To be free to change your mind and to do the opposite tomorrow from what you have done yesterday. True or false: It is the duty of an artist to put his personal emotions into the music he plays. Sometimes true, sometimes false. True or false: People need to be educated about classical music, before they can really appreciate it.
Some might be very pleased to get verbal information and explanation, other ones hate it. You are given the position of artistic director of a concert hall.DUDE ROCKS OUT AMAZING GRACE TO AMAZED CROWD
What would be on your program for this season? Since I never will be in a function like the mentioned one, there is no point for me to think about this question.Een genoegen om je nieuwe blog te ontdekken, beste Aliomodo.
Keuzes als deze, Nancarrow en Antheil, doen op dit gebied het beste vrezen. Maar natuurlijk wist ik al van je contributies op het moederschip genaamd Avax van je interessante smaak. Uiteraard heb ik je blog toegevoegd aan mijn bloglijst, en ik hoop op veel verrassende en verrijkende uitwisselingen - wat des te eenvoudiger zal zijn nu je niet Italiaans of Latijns blijkt te spreken, zoals ik verondersteld had op basis van je naam. Cheers en fijne groeten, Edmond.
Many thanks for this cd, Alio Modo! This music is exuberant and very interesting, even like an exercise to expand our acoustic capabilities. The taste of the 'jazz-style' is now full of remembrances on the past Century, but the moods and techniques still very effective, and vivid.
Again, thanks to share this great album! Nancarrow - Three 2-part studies - I. Presto 2. Nancarrow - Three 2-part studies - II. Andantino 3. Nancarrow - Three 2-part studies - III. Allegro 4. Nancarrow - Prelude Allegro molto 5. Nancarrow - Blues Slow Blues Tempo 6.
To be played as fast as possible 8. Andante moderato 9. Antheil - Mechanisms Antheil - A machine Antheil - Sonatina Death of the Machines - I.
Moderato Accelerando Antheil - Jazz Sonata Sonata No. Antheil - Sonata Sauvage - I. Allegro vivo Antheil - Sonata Sauvage - II.The ever-adventuresome pianist Herbert Henck returns for another dip into obscure waters, this time with a wholehearted survey of the music of Johann Ludwig Trepulka and Norbert von Hannenheim Both were twelve-tone composers both also died in WWIIthough one would hardly know it by assuredness of their writing in these austere interwar pieces.
For decades, it was his only published work. Henck was then given access to a small fortune of unpublished scores such coincidences would seem to set Henck apart from many contemporary performers and interpreters. We can only hope these will be documented on ECM in the future. As for Hannenheim, he lived in dire poverty for most of his life, breathing his last in a sanatorium. His work, along with that of his teacher, would be banned under the Hitler regime.
Their resolution of hard realities speaks in pointillist stirrings and turgid harmonies wrought somewhere between lyricism and oppression. The brevity of these pieces only two go over five minutes compresses continents of emotion into single counties, each a wellspring of action. The Klaviersonate No. Other sonatas, like No. Intensely effective, if not effectively intense, the staggered rhythms of the Vivace betray an essentially simplistic heartbeat of musical integrity.
The resoluteness of No. This music represents an interesting confluence of impressionism and hardened interpretation, and behooves the curious listener to wrap her or his cochleae around its fascinations time and time again.
John Cage Early Piano Music. Two years after his benchmark account of the Sonatas and InterludesGerman pianist Herbert Henck returns to the music of John Cage for this refreshing program of early works. Of the latter masterpiece he gives an endearing performance that thrums with drawn-out warmth under his touch—an intimate tapestry spread to reveal every tonal stitch blissfully intact.
And so, when we listen to a track like Winter, it does not feel like falling snow, or even the whipping winds of a blizzard, but speaks to a rather different sense of climatic change. Neither does Summer swelter. Rather, these pieces embody their elemental forces.It is a large piece, lasting around forty minutes according to the score, but ranging from 30 to 50 minutes in recordings attended by the composer. In performance, however, the overall impact is quite different from anything of Boulez, and has often been claimed e.
Paul Griffiths has written of the music of the sonata: 'contrasts of themes or keys are replaced by other polarities, in particular between perceptions of notes as sounds acontextual, as if heard alone and as tones part of the unfolding of a serial formbetween freedom and fixity in the registral placing of notes, between pulsed and pulseless rhythm and between sound and silence.
Compulsion, embodied in the strict music, may seem to spur protest in the free passages. But protest is compromised by having to be voiced in the same language, based on the same series.
But as the fast movement built up, slow sections were increasingly introduced, and the slow movement contained some fast ones, so that there was a balance of contrasts within the work as a whole. The piece closed in unison in a mediating tempo with a twelve-tone row, whose basic form determined the pitch structure of the whole work.
The sonata was recorded commercially by Yvonne Loriod between 28 and 30 October and issued in This recording was made in the presence of the composer, and from the manuscript, which was corrected and modified by the composer during the sessions. The Sonata was subsequently recorded commercially by Claude Helffer in and Roger Woodward inboth also in the presence of the composer.
A concert recording from by Francoise Thinat, prepared with the composer, has also been released on CD. The new critical edition of the Sonata by Heribert Henrich was given its first performance from an early draft, in in Berlin, by Nicolas Hodges. The new edition was given its first recording by Jean-Pierre Collot inrelease see Discography. The original edition is rife with notational errors, and some performers particularly Henck made extensive corrections. Woodward's notes on his recording tell the story in great detail.
Later conflicts with Soviet authorities led to his expulsion from the Composers' Union in and imprisonment in the Gulag in Following an early release, which had been argued for by his Conservatory teachers, Mosolov turned his attention to setting Turkmen and Kyrgyz folk tunes for orchestra. His later music conformed to the Soviet aesthetic to a much greater degree, but he never regained the success of his early career.
Mosolov's works include five piano sonatas only four of which are extanttwo piano concerti only one movement exists of the second piano concertotwo cello concerti, a harp concerto, four string quartets, twelve orchestral suites, eight symphonies, and a substantial number of choral and voice pieces.
Mosolov was born to an upper-middle-class family in Kiev, in the Russian Empire. His mother, Nina Alexandrovna, was a professional singer at the Bolshoi Theater and a graduate of the Kiev school of music, and she gave Mosolov his first musical lessons.
The family moved to Moscow in Mosolov's father, Vasiliy Alexandrovich, died a year later when Mosolov was five years old. After his father's death, Mosolov's mother married a successful painter and teacher, Mikhail Leblan.
Mosolov attended high school untiland in worked in the office of the People's Commissioner for State Control. Through this, he personally delivered mail to Vladimir Lenin three times, which had a profound impact on the young Mosolov. He received the Order of the Red Banner on two occasions.
Piano Sonata (Barraqué)
Despite forays into composition, Mosolov's primary emphasis at this time was with performance, as he was an accomplished pianist. In andMosolov was commissioned by the Bolshoi Theater to compose a futurist imagination of what Moscow would be like in for a speculative ballet called The Four Moscows. Leonid PolovinkinAnatoly Alexandrovand Dmitri Shostakovich were also involved, each to compose Moscow in, and respectively, but nothing ever came of the project.
After the onset of socialist realism as the official aesthetic of the Soviet Union inMosolov traveled to Central Asia, where he researched and collected samples of TurkmenTajikArmenianand Kyrgyz songs.
Mosolov became the first composer to create a symphonic suite on a Turkmen folk song. Rather than simply set the melodies in an orchestral setting, Mosolov used dense textures and polytonality that disregarded the style of socialist realism.
Now, this has become insufferable. I must compose, and my works must be performed! I must test my works against the masses; if I come to grief, I'll know where I must go. On February 4,Mosolov was expelled from the Composers' Union for treating waiters poorly and taking part in a drunken brawl in Press House, a local restaurant. His attempts were unsuccessful, and he was arrested on November 4,for alleged counter-revolutionary activities under Article 58Paragraph 10 of the Soviet criminal code and sentenced to eight years in the Gulag.
On July 15,Mosolov's sentence was commuted to a five-year exile—he could not live in Moscow, Leningrador Kiev until However, the compositions of Mosolov's later life were so uncharacteristic of his earlier style that one scholar noted that it was "impossible to discern the former avant-gardist in the works written from the late thirties onward". In an early piece, "Four Songs," Op.
Widespread use of ostinato became the defining signature of Mosolov's music:  Iron Foundry is built of many ostinati working in tandem to create the sound of a factory, it is used in the Second and Fifth Piano Sonatas, etc. Dissonance "in the extreme"  and chromaticism are also Mosolov's signatures, though he stops short of the structured twelve-tone technique of Schoenberg. Instead of tone rows, Mosolov uses thickly-clustered, heavily chromatic chords to make his point.
Folk music also saw use by Mosolov. As the first composer of a symphonic suite on a Turkmen folk song, Mosolov adopted the use of folk music before it was mandated under Socialist realism. However, instead of carefully setting the music for orchestra, Mosolov handled the music "like thematic grist for his compositional mill. In Four Newspaper AdvertisementsMosolov set four brief announcements in the newspaper Izvestiya to music.
The topics of the four short pieces range from a lost dog to the announcement of a name change. The first, called "Mama, give me a needle, please!
Mosolov's most famous composition, Iron Foundrywas originally the final movement of a ballet suite titled, Steel. The work premiered in Moscow on December 4,in a concert held by the ACM to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Revolution.
Some critics argued that the workers, ironically enough, didn't enjoy such music,  while others argued that the workers, "for whom machine oil is mother's milk," were roused and inspired by music of their time. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.Ives noted that the "Concord" was a work that never seemed finished; it was a perpetual work in motion, a continual improvisation: " I don't know as I shall ever write [my improvisations] out, as it may take away the daily pleasure of playing this music and seeing it grow and feeling that it is not finished I may always have the pleasure of not finishing it As Ives implies, the sonata defies any single interpretation.
Many pianists have something unique and interesting to say about this elusive, protean work.
And, as a fellow Ives fan on our discussion board recently pointed out, the "Concord" has been recorded an enormous number of times. Well over thirty pianists have released commercial recordings since Kirkpatrick's premiere was issued back in Is it the most frequently recorded modern piano work?
In alone, three new versions were released. For a direct comparison of timings of recordings of the "Concord" Sonata recordings reviewed on this site, click here. This disc collects the complete extant recordings that Charles Ives ever made of himself playing the piano. And any release that features the Man himself has to appear at the top of the list--even if the recordings are largely fragmentary and the sound quality ranges from pretty bad to horrible.
The recordings were made from to Thankfully, the longest work on the disc is a complete take of "The Alcotts" from the "Concord" Sonata. It's a haunting performance that reaches out and grabs you. And there are a few other examples of Ives' breath-taking artistry at the piano, despite the sonic limitations of the recordings.
When I was first digging into the "Concord," these recordings gave me a foothold on the music. I listened to them again and again. Afterwards, other pianists' versions made a lot more sense.
Is this the Rosetta stone, the key that unlocks the "Concord"? It was for me.Herbert Henck Locations. I remember seeing in my teens a documentary about John Cage the title unfortunately escapes mein which two seemingly bewildered elderly women are eying the auditory visionary in question as he darts around a concert hall with portable radio in hand.
I like to think the same holds true for a pianist like Herbert Henck, whose fearless approach to making music is nowhere so explicit as on this timely double album. The prepared piano is the quintessential Cagean innovation. It exemplifies not only his unwavering interest in play, but more importantly his infectious lucidity. Some come across as intensely mystical Sonata VII through a depressed sustain. Others are more nervous Second Interlude. If favoritism has any validity here, then I humbly embrace the Fourth Interlude as my one and only.
This is the puppetry of music, the dead brought to fantastic life by a nimble touch. Like a ballroom dance gone horribly, albeit enchantingly, awry, they are simultaneously coordinated and tangled amid limbs and unfinished steps.
The solos come across as majestic elegies, while in the overdubbed duos Henck seems to wring out as much musical nectar as he can before those particular intersections of space, form, and time elude him. I can only imagine the challenges such a recording presents to the engineer. Nevertheless, in the hands of ECM every conceivable nuance comes through, pitch perfect and severely organic. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account.
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