Pianist Shai Wosner explores the inner connections between the musical languages of Brahms and Schoenberg on his first commercial recording released by ONYX. The recital album pairs in alternation Brahms's Fantasies Op. 116 and Schoenberg's Six Little Pieces Op. 19, framed by two homages to tradition: Schoenberg's Suite for piano Op. 25 and Brahms's Handel Variations.
In his liner notes, Mr. Wosner writes that "it is hard to find two composers who at once have so much in common and that have inspired such wildly different reactions as Brahms and Schoenberg". He adds that although both were great innovators, the two composers also shared an acute sense of music history: "Brahms's music is often inspired by the legacies of his predecessors and the tension between them, with Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven on one hand and Chopin and Schumann on the other. Schoenberg, similarly, thought in terms of evolution rather than revolution and both men's works often display a sense of duty to meld various strains of tradition in search of new meaning and with a view to the future."
In a review of Mr. Wosner's performance of Schoenberg's Suite for piano Op. 25, The New York Times wrote that his playing "had an impressive sweep as well as a vivid vocabulary of gestures."
Shai Wosner, piano
Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)
Suite for piano op.25
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) and Arnold Schoenberg Seven Fantasies op.116 alternated with Six Little Piano Pieces
Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Handel op.24