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Reliquie • a Sonata by Franz Schubert & Ernst Krenek

by Gavin Gamboa

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about

Franz Schubert, whom Dieter Fischer-Dieskau called the "Prince of Song", left this Earth when he was 31 years old. In his music he gave most of himself to the songs for solo voice and piano, Lieder as the form is known. And yet in the Symphonies, the String Quartets, the Cantatas, or the Sonatas for piano we find the probing restlessness of an indefatigable composer, one who left eleven such sonatas for pianoforte in various states of incompletion, including this one, once referred to as Reliquie as it was thought to be some of the last music that he wrote, a relic of his own (as he would put it in a letter to his brother Ferdinand) "indescribable power of the earth to create new life".

Various people have taken it upon themselves to fill-in the gaps to these last two movements that Schubert left behind, but we will be focusing on the completion by the Austrian-born and later American émigré composer Ernst Krenek, which is perhaps the best known. Krenek, who spent the last years of his life in the Colorado Desert of California once discussed Schubert's style, admitting that he had at first "shared the wide-spread opinion that Schubert was a lucky inventor of pleasing tunes ... lacking dramatic power and searching intelligence. Krenek's music fully embraced the twelve-tone method of composition of the Second Viennese School, and so it is surprising to find in his completion of this Sonata fragment not only his reversal on how he felt about Schubert, eventually saying that actually he "was much more than an easy-going tune-smith who did not know, and did not care, about the craft of composition" but also we find a complete mimesis and commitment on the part of Krenek to the late classical style, taking each idea to its logical conclusion and in a voice so convincingly not his own.

Further notes:
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credits

released May 26, 2023

Recorded at The Philosophical Research Society
Los Angeles, California, United States
2022 May 28

Recording Engineer
Andrew Funcheon

Artwork Image
Still from the film 'Reliquie • a Sonata by Franz Schubert & Ernst Krenek' (2023)

Title Calligraphy
McKay Felt

Special Thanks
Kelly Carmena, Amanda Brass, Mandy Kahn, Alexia Veytia-Rubio, Jake Bloch

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Gavin Gamboa Los Angeles, California

composer • producer

one album per month from 2014-2020

current studio:
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