Piano Works

NEOS 11044CD NEOS 11044CD

2010 release. 'Funf Szenen (Five Scenes)': In 2009, during a new production of his opera Celan, Peter Ruzicka noticed that several crucial moments in the large orchestral score could be 'mapped' in new aesthetic guise onto a linear piano texture. The opera shed fresh light on and defamiliarised many traumatic experiences in the life of the eponymous poet and Holocaust survivor. 'Parergon': this six-piece cycle originated in 2006/2007 in parallel with Ruzicka's second opera, H'lderlin. Here the events are communicated through music alone rather than stage action. The opening piece appears in several scenes of the opera in rich string sonorities. Once it has faded away, this same phenomenon is clearly audible in the next piece, which represents a distillate of two scenes: 'Expulsion from Paradise' and 'Fear, nothing but fear, the trembling collective.' Composed in 1987, the 'Preludes' cycle can be viewed as the piano piece in which Ruzicka identifies most closely with the idiomatic properties of the instrument. Here the piano can function as a 'percussion instrument' in the best sonic sense of the term. 'Ausgeweidet Die Zeit...': This set of three nocturnes composed in 1969, is among the works in which Ruzicka found his own distinctive idiom. As he writes in the preface, 'The three nocturnes took shape during my encounter with the poetry of Nelly Sachs' cycle GlüHende RäTsel (Glowing riddles). They are reflections of internalized motions and draw their force by communicating with central layers in these poems.' Like the words themselves, the music that mirrors them appeals to the listener's sense of synaesthesia, as if creating a painting with brushstrokes of sound. 'Compensazione': This roughly two-minute serial study, dating 1966-2009, owes its existence to a strange twist of fate. The manuscript vanished after the premiere in 1970. In 2009 Benjamin Fenker reconstructed the musical text from a live recording made of the premiere. This text was in turn rearranged by the composer with regard to tempo, dynamics, phrasing and rhythm. In this way the piece underwent what might be called a journey through time, being at once Ruzicka's covert opus 1 and his most recent work for the piano. Performed by: Sophie-Mayuko Vetter (piano).