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AGP179 - Josef Matthias Hauer (1883-1959) | Atonale Musik, op. 20 (1920-22)

  1. Nos. 1-4 [9:51] [MP3]

  2. Nos. 5-8 [6:08] [MP3]

  3. Nos. 9 [3:12] [MP3]

  4. Nos. 10-11 [4:28] [MP3]

  5. Nos. 12-14 [6:47] [MP3]

  6. Nos. 15-16 [6:41] [MP3]

  7. Nos. 17-20 [8:08] [MP3]

  8. Nos. 1-4 [9:51] [FLAC]

  9. Nos. 5-8 [6:08] [FLAC]

  10. Nos. 9 [3:12] [FLAC]

  11. Nos. 10-11 [4:28] [FLAC]

  12. Nos. 12-14 [6:47] [FLAC]

  13. Nos. 15-16 [6:41] [FLAC]

  14. Nos. 17-20 [8:08] [FLAC]

  15. AGP 179 notes [TXT]

  16. LP liner notes [PDF]


AGP179 features the first set of twelve-tone compositions by the first person to invent a twelve-tone system of composition (a year or two before Schoenberg). The twenty piano pieces comprising Atonale Music, op. 20 were composed by Josef Matthias Hauer in 1920-22. More information about Hauer, his system of composition, and his interactions with Arnold Schoenberg can be found in the LP liner notes scanned in the PDF file included with this installment, and in the Wikipedia article on Josef Matthias Hauer.

This recording was performed by Joseph Kubera, produced by Tom Buckner, recorded by Gerald Oshita using high-quality equipment, and released on 1750 Arch Records in 1982 (S-1788). It has never to my knowledge been re-issued on CD. The recording sounds natural and honest, with a nice blend of detail and resonance. The transcription is clean, other than a few moments of tracking distortion in Nos. 9 and 19.

Hauer's music is certainly not for everyone, but it can be thrilling in its unassuming way if you're in the mood. It's remarkably consonant for music with no tonal center, and I think its consonance better enables one to relish the unorthodox harmonic progressions, which are brought out very nicely by the timbre and sustain of the piano. If you like this music, more Hauer is available on CD, including another recording of Atonale Music, performed by Steffen Schleiermacher.

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