Solitary is a collection of solo piano works written during periods of extreme isolation and creative austerity in the respective composers’ lives. The recording, Jacob Greenberg’s debut full length cd, features works by Kurtag, Schoenberg, Mozart, Schumann, and Jacob himself.
Selections from Jatekok, Book 5Gyorgy Kurtag (b. 1926)
|01||(...lovely greetings from Grete Spinnrad)|
(...lovely greetings from Grete Spinnrad)
|02||Bell-Fanfare for Sandor Veress|
Bell-Fanfare for Sandor Veress
|03||Capriccioso- luminoso (for Jeno Szervansky's 80th birthday)|
Capriccioso- luminoso (for Jeno Szervansky's 80th birthday)
|04||Flowers we are...|
Flowers we are...
|05||The little squall|
The little squall
|06||... flowers also the stars...|
... flowers also the stars...
|07||An apocryhal hymn|
An apocryhal hymn
|08||The girl with the flaxen hair - enraged|
The girl with the flaxen hair - enraged
|10||Farewell to Pal Kadosa|
Farewell to Pal Kadosa
|11||Mozart: Rondo in A minor, K. 511|
Mozart: Rondo in A minor, K. 511
Suite for Piano, op. 25Arnold Schoenberg
|14||Musette: Gavotte da Capo|
Musette: Gavotte da Capo
|16||Minuett and Trio|
Minuett and Trio
|18||Greenberg: Lied ohne Worte nach Rilke|
Greenberg: Lied ohne Worte nach Rilke
Gesange der Fruhe, op. 133Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
|19||I. Im ruhigen Tempo|
I. Im ruhigen Tempo
|20||II. Belebt, nicht zu rasch|
II. Belebt, nicht zu rasch
|23||V. Im Anfange ruhiges, im Verlauf bewegteres Tempo|
V. Im Anfange ruhiges, im Verlauf bewegteres Tempo
Solitary is a collection of solo piano works written during periods of extreme isolation and creative austerity in the respective composers' lives. The recording, Jacob Greenberg's debut full length cd, features works by Kurtag, Schoenberg, Mozart, Schumann, and Jacob himself. The solo piano's introspective and solitary sound glues the diverse program together here, as does Jacob's hauntingly beautiful playing. There is something so intimate and cerebral about the sound of the piano, a sound that sheds the visceral qualities of vibrato and overt timbral differentiation, that a recital program such as this one can feel as if it takes place all within the inner life of the mind, even as it covers vast expressive territory.
Recorded 12/2008, 1/2009 and 1/2010, Sweeney Hall, Smith College, Massachusetts
Executive Producer: Jacob Greenberg
Session producers: Ryan Streber (all tracks), Daniel Lippel (Kurtag, Mozart), Kivie Cahn-Lipman (Schumann), Claire Chase (Schoenberg, Schumann)
Recording engineer, Digital Editing, Post-Production: Ryan Streber
Design: Jill Malek
Photography: Jacob Greenberg, Rebekah Heller
Pianist Jacob Greenberg’s work as a soloist and chamber musician has received worldwide acclaim. As a longtime member of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), he has performed throughout the Americas and Europe. His solo concert series, Music at Close Range, shows his equal commitment to classics of the repertoire.
A leading pianist of modern song, he has toured extensively with soprano Tony Arnold; their 2013 recording of Olivier Messiaen’s Harawi has been singled out by critics. Other ensemble performances include MusicNOW, with members of the Chicago Symphony, and Contempo at the University of Chicago. As an orchestral player, he has also appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, and Australian Chamber Orchestra.
In addition to his solo albums for New Focus Recordings, which feature works by over a dozen composers, Mr. Greenberg has recorded for the Nonesuch, Sony, Bridge, Naxos, Mode, Kairos, Centaur, Tzadik, and New Amsterdam labels. Live performances have been heard on WQXR New York, BBC Radio 3, WFMT Chicago and Radio Netherlands. Mr. Greenberg is also a record producer, and has completed discs for major domestic and international labels. He is the director of ICE’s in-house Tundra imprint. As a composer, he makes recorded pieces with spoken and sung texts.
Recent highlights include a guest performance of works of György Kurtág at the International Summer Courses in Darmstadt, Germany, under the composer’s guidance; a recital tour with flutist Claire Chase; Boulez’s Sur Incises with the Seattle Symphony; and solo and concerto appearances with ICE at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival.
Mr. Greenberg is on the faculty of the Tanglewood Music Center, and has taught at Hunter College, City University of New York, The Juilliard School, and the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is a graduate of Oberlin College, where he earned degrees in music and religion, and he completed his master’s and doctoral degrees at Northwestern University, where he studied with Ursula Oppens. Please visit jacobgreenberg.net.http://www.jacobgreenberg.net
"By the way, I'd like to mention again Jacob Greenberg's fine CD Solitary, with a strikingly polystylistic Lied ohne Worte by the pianist."
- The Rest is Noise
Gyorgy Kurtag's Jatekok is a pedagogical work in the same vein as Bartok's Mikrokosmos. Pianist and composer Jacob Greenberg opens this interesting collection with ten selections from the fifth book; the pieces are small-scale but endlessly fascinating for their understanding of piano sonority and compositional ingenuity. He plays these pieces wonderfully.
Next is his account of Schumann's little played Songs of the Dawn; Schumann completed them about four months before his mental collapse, and I've never understood why they aren't performed more often; Greenberg makes a great case for them.
The Schoenberg-- a fiendishly difficult work-- sounds very enthusiastic, almost truculent. Greenberg's virtuosic "Lied ohne Worte nach Rilke" is a delightful miniature, and its compositional quality is completely at home with the other works.