“Songs for Mahler in the Absence of Words”

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Sep 122012

When I heard this program presented during the 2011 New York Chamber Music Festival, in honor of the centenary of Gustav Mahler‘s death, I knew it had to be recorded. The New York Piano Quartet brought the sort of urgency to Mahler’s earliest surviving work, the opening movement of what was to be a longer Quartet for Piano and Strings, that has eluded every other performance and recording of this work that I have heard. Three distinctly different realizations of Mahler’s sketches for what was to be the quartet’s second movement are also featured — a completion in the grand romantic style by Enguerrand-Friedrich Luhl, the angular, almost expressionist movement by Soviet master Alfred Schnittke, and Gernot Wolfgang‘s jazz-infused From Vienna With Love. The program also includes works commissioned for the concert in remarkably divergent styles by Wang Jie, Cristina Spinei, Barney Johnson, Noel Zahler, Patricia Leonard, and Nicolas Prada. The players and I have dedicated this recording to author and critic Norman Lebrecht, an indefatigable champion of Mahler’s music.

— Gene Gaudette, Managing Partner, Urlicht AudioVisual

Songs for Mahler in the Absence of Words

Gustav Mahler: Piano Quartet
Enguerrard Friedrich Luhl: Scherzo
Gernot Wolfgang: From Vienna with Love
Christina Spinei: Mahler Remixed
Barney Johnson: Mahler 99
Wang Jie: Songs for Mahler in the Absence of Words
Noel Zahler: Le miroir de l’ombre
Patricia Leonard: Strangely Close, Yet Distant
Alfred Schnittke: Piano Quartet
Nicolas Prada: Reflections on Mahler

New York Piano Quartet
Elmira Darvarova, violin / Ronald Carbone, viola / Samuel Magill, cello / Linda Hall, piano

Produced by Gene Gaudette
Engineered by John C. Baker
Recorded March 2012, Lawrenceville School Chapel, Lawrenceville, NJ

Urlicht AudioVisual UAV-5998

CD Release Date: September 25, 2012