Vol. 2 - ALBUM / All 25 pieces of Vol. 2 - "250 piano pieces for Beethoven" / 25​,​- €

by Susanne Kessel

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Mike Garson (*1945) Mike Garson is an American pianist, most notable for his work with David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, Billy Corgan, Free Flight, and The Smashing Pumpkins. A comprehensive biography of his life and career to date was published by Fantom (UK) in 2015, under the title „Bowie’s Piano Man: The Life of Mike Garson“ and written by fellow pianist, Clifford Slapper.
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Jed Distler about his piano piece "Birthday Bagatelle": “I devised my twelve tone row F A C E-flat E G B-flat A-flat C-sharp D F-sharp and B from the keys of the sonatas in sequence: F is for No. 1 in F Minor, A is for No. 2 in A Major, C is for No. 3 in C Major, E-flat is for No. 4 in E-flat Major. However, because No. 5 is in C Minor, I can’t repeat C! So we have to wait until the next sequential sonata in a new key…E is for No. 9 in A Major. And so forth. Since there are no Sonatas either in B Major or B Minor, B is the row’s last note. Obviously the opening bar reflects Op. 2 No 1’s first measure. But the loud dotted chords are special for you, inspired by Diabelli Variation No. 13!” "Birthday Bagatelle" is dedicated to Susanne Kessel
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Claudio Puntin about his piano piece “Left”: “Um den Charakter des Unausweichlichen dieser musikalischen Schicksalsempfindung spürbar zu machen, bedarf es einer rhythmisch äusserst stetigen und gleichmässigen, fast gnadenlosen Spielweise, der gleichzeitig Kraft, Zorn und Akzeptanz innewohnt. Momente durchscheinender Zartheit und des Friedens sind eingebettet und leuchten aus sich selbst heraus. Sentimentalität, geformt durch rubati, rallentandi oder accelerandi, ist nicht Teil der Idee. Der Rausch der Klänge darf und soll geschehen, wogegen gedacht formulierte Artikulation zugunsten von andersweitigen Absichten zweitrangig ist. Es geht um das Verlieren, nicht das sportliche, sondern jenes, welches das Leben zeichnet, jenes, welches in unserer Zukunft bereits geschrieben steht, jenes der Gesundheit, der Liebe, der Natur, – oder womöglich des Gehörs. Ich habe es nicht definiert.”
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Mike Herting about his piano piece "Choral für die Bruderschaft": „Zur Bruderschaft ist zu sagen, dass ich bei meinen Reisen durch die Welt überall auf Musiker getroffen bin, die dieser Bruderschaft angehören. Dabei bin ich sehr wählerisch, denn nur der, der die Musik um ihrer selbst Willen liebt, darf sich zur Bruderschaft zählen. Also: Miles Davis, ja, Dieter Bohlen, o nein, etc. Und Beethoven ist einer der Großen Brüder, einer, der sagt: „Für solche Schweine spiele ich nicht“ und „Die einzige Fortsetzung der Tradition ist der Bruch mit ihr“. Deshalb liebe ich ihn und deshalb widme ich ihm dieses Stück.“
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Georg Kröll about "Wie in Traumes Wirren": "In den Wirren eines Traumes ist Beethovens „Große Fuge op. 133“ kaum noch zu erkennen. Nur das Thema erscheint wiederholt, verkürzt, verformt, mit einem Kontrapunkt, der rhythmisch an das Original erinnert. Eine Durchführung will nicht gelingen, bricht immer wieder ab. Schließlich verliert sich alles in einer Wirrnis schneller, unregelmäßiger Figuren. Ein plötzliches Abbrechen (Erwachen) beendet diesen Albtraum."
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Markus Reuter about his piano piece "His last decade": "The form of my composition is inspired by Beethoven being commonly referred to as a "structuralist". The piece is a musical image depicting a "creative process", which is technically represented as the permutation of a musical idea. The permutation of pitches creates a mood that represents the universal feeling of creation for me. The piece also reflects the question "What does one hear when one hears nothing?", which came up thinking of Beethoven's deafness. "His last decade" is an expression of the notion that musical composition can take place beyond acoustic perception, and is thus related to Beethoven's creations in the last years of his life."
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Ivo van Emmerik about "Wiesengrund": "Wiesengrund“ wurde geschrieben, um Beethovens Musik und ihre Auswirkungen auf die Musikgeschichte zu feiern. Meine Absicht war es, die großen Kontraste und den erhabenen Charakter seiner Musik innerhalb einer Zeitspanne von vier Minuten in meine eigene Musik zu übersetzen. Wie der langsame Satz aus Opus 111 ist mein Stück aus einer Reihe von Variationen aufgebaut, jedoch ohne eigentliches Thema. Obwohl ich nicht beabsichtigt hatte, aus seinen Kompositionen zu zitieren, erschien während des Komponierens plötzlich das Hauptmotiv der Arietta. Ich habe versucht, viele Beethovensche Affekte zu verwenden: Robustes, Lyrisches, Stille, Kontraste zwischen den Registern, usw., kurz: die ganze Wiese, auf der wir Komponisten-Schafe seit fast zwei Jahrhunderten weiden." "Wiesengrund" is dedicated to Susanne Kessel.
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Roger Hanschel about his piano piece "Plucking in estimated fields": ""Plucking in estimated fields" refers to piano concerto No. 4, Op. 58. Knowing that Susanne Kessel appreciates this concerto a lot, I have chosen it as a point of reference for my piece within the project "250 piano pieces for Beethoven". The title emerged when having considered the approach, Beethoven and his work lay in front of me like a patch (in German: "Beet"), and I just had to pluck something. The musical reference can be found in the first three bars. Beginning in C major instead of G major, it leaves Beethoven's harmonic space and wafts away within harmonics which I highly appreciate and use quite often; it can be equally conrete and questioned, and rich in contrast in each moment"
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Steffen Schorn about his piano piece "The Mad Code": "The piece rushes through a series of paradox emotional episodes: Fury, pride, innocent joy, sudden flashes of thoughts, crystal clear inner silence... Inspired by a concert of Beethoven in Vienna after a several fruitful year, that is said to be a "desaster" because of "mammoth" programming - L.v. Beethoven had put all his new compositions in one orchestral concert preceded by his boundless improvisations on the piano - I have tried to put an extremely condensed collection of structured material of compositional ideas in a very short piece... and failed... The 13+2 chords at the beginning represent the complementary pentatonics of 13 different non-symmetrical master scales (9-tone-modes) in a position of self-similar resonance, opposed to pure chords of C major 7, which appear horizontally and vertically in different transpositions throughout the piece.. tactile rhythmic percussion patterns... fast rotating harmo-melodic fields..."
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Harald Muenz about his piano piece "Beethovenamstück": "The pianist enters the stage with a large stack of bound piano sheet music by common publishers under her/his arms. For the audience, just the name printed on them, in bold, BEETHOVEN should be recognisable. Palpably, slamming the stack on the grand piano, visibly blowing away the dust, stinging somewhere in with a needle, audibly tearing out the selected page, noticeably putting it upside down onto the grand piano's music stand, she plays the emerging, perceptingly new, musical text. The detached page should be played in its entirety. The tempo is free, therefore the duration of a performance is variable."
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Torben Maiwald about his piano piece “Avvento” My piece “Avvento – Beethoven on 26 March 1827 at 17:46” tries to catch the very moment of Beethoven’s passing. What would he have heard then? Someone singing for him? Silence? Fragments of his own music? Perfect angelic performances, way better than on earth? Who is able to decide… it’s up to the listener. In any case, the music is not triumphant and perfectly shaped. One will hear the first few tones in a completely new and hitherto unknown state of consciousness. Who is producing the music, and who is the listener?
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Marcus Schinkel about his piano piece "Sturm und Klang": „Ausgangspunkt der Komposition war die Frage welchen Klang ich am meisten mit Beethoven verbinde. Dieses ist für mich der erste Akkord der Pathétique, ein Klang, den man so gar nicht mit seinen Vorgängern Haydn und Mozart in Verbindung bringen kann, so wuchtig und radikal – für mich ist dieser tiefe C-Moll Akkord ein ganz großes Beethovensches Erkennungsmerkmal. Weitere Grundsteine der Komposition waren die Gewissheit, dass sich Dur- und Moll-Dreiklänge auch in einem modernen Kontext für den Hörer immer als harmonisch erweisen und auch im komplizierten tonalen Zusammenhang als eine Brücke oder ein Halt. Mit dem Anfangsthema habe ich dann weiter phantasiert und diese improvisierten Passagen dann in dem kompositorischen Kontext verfeinert und angepasst. Mir gefällt die literarische Kompositionstechnik von Friedrich Dürrenmatt: er hat immer in der Nacht wild und ungebändigt geschrieben und ist dann am Tag darauf Wort für Wort durchgegangen, hat diese ggf. gelöscht oder ausgewechselt, aber immer war der Schreibfluss der Ursprung, genau wie für mich das romantische, ursprüngliche und spontane Element (gemäß der Kompositionsidee von der “Sonata quasi uns fantasia) Ausgang der Komposition sein soll.“
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Ursel Quint about her piano piece "Kannst du mich noch hören?": "When I went to school - and I went to school in Bonn, Beethoven's birthplace - we learned about Bonn's most famous son: "He was a great composer, who wrote famous works". And: "He was deaf". "What does that mean?", I asked. "It means", the teacher explained, "he couldn't hear the alarm-clock in the morning." So, this little piece deals with alarm-clocks and a very famous work. And with boldness, which, I think, you must have when surviving in a world you cannot hear."
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Barry L. Roshto about his piano piece "250 250ths for 250th": "This piece was inspired by the following joke: "Recently Beethoven was exhumed for the third time. He was found erasing all of his works. He was decomposing..." I applied the concept of "decomposition" to some of my own works several years ago, but only in a graphical sense. As I was considering what to do for the project, I thought the decomposition idea could be applied in a broader, holistic sense to Beethoven's work I decided to use a reverse archaeological method. Instead of reconstructing an artefact from it's fragmants, I would start with the object and "decompose" it into fragments. As the process of physical decay is governed by strict chemical and physical rules, I knew I had to use a process that avoided any randomness, producing fragments without any subjective manipulation. The reception "250 250ths for 250th", or whether these fragments can be connected by the listener to the original, is simpy a homoeopathic question. Can work for mone, maybe not for all. I only hope that what began as a joke does not end as one!"

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This album contains all 25 piano pieces of the sheet music edition Vol. 2 of "250 piano pieces for Beethoven".

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released September 20, 2019

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Susanne Kessel Bonn, Germany

German pianist Susanne Kessel invited 250 composers all around the globe to write piano pieces "for Beethoven". In celebration of Ludwig van Beethoven's 250 anniversary in the year 2020, thshe plays all the 250 p ieces and publishes the sheet music within 10 festive Volumes at Editions Musica Ferrum / London. ... more

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