• Ludwig van Beethoven, Karlheinz Stockhausen

    Klavierstücke Sonaten

    Pi-Hsien Chen

    Klavierstücke Sonaten 1 cd hat[now]ART 193
    Hat Hut

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Above all this is music which still sounds as new as it did when it was first created, music conceived boldly without a hint of compromise. Yet, although I have suggested there are similarities to be found in these composers’ approaches to innovation and technology, fundamentally they could not be more different. In Beethoven, even in those moments in the slow music which propose a sort of repose, there is an irresistible forward momentum, a propulsive drive towards the new, the unknown, per- haps even the impossible. By contrast, in Stockhausen’s music, animation and stasis are always balanced; a multitude of possibili- ties is being played out, but it is a multitude which the composer already holds in his head. It was this difference between Beethoven and Stockhausen, so acutely assessed by Jonathan Harvey, which meant that Kurzwellen mit Beethoven could never have succeeded, but it is this difference which also makes this such an exciting CD. To listen to this music in the sequence recorded here, alternating Stockhausen and Beethoven, then Stockhausen again, is – as with Pi-hsien Chen’s previous of Cage and Scarlatti : hat(now)ART 188 – to have one’s ideas about music turned on their head time after time, to be confronted with the shock of the new in all its revolutionary diversity. --Christopher Fox