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Auerbach’s Piano Works “Images of Childhood” and “Ludwig’s Nightmare” Combined with Beethoven Sonatas

The pianist Georg Michael Grau, born in 1989 in Lauingen an der Donau, proudly presents his debut CD on the TyxArt label with the Beethoven Sonatas, Op. 7 and Op. 110 together with two piano works of Lera Auerbach. “With the combination of Ludwig van Beethoven and Lera Auerbach, Grau has succeeded in creating a conceptually organic programme, especially since the content of the Russian composer’s ‚Ludwig’s Nightmare‘ also refers to Beethoven”, writes Frank Siebert in the magazine Fono Forum (5/16) and calls the album a “remarkable CD debut”.

Auerbach’s “Ludwig’s Nightmare” is indeed a direct reaction to her own encounter with Beethoven’s compositional cosmos in her own life. “Everything about Beethoven seemed heavy, angular and earth-bound. His music, however, defied gravity, challenged its own awkwardness – in order to attain a never reachable gracefulness,” as Auerbach explains the background reasons that led her to compose this work. (…) “As frequently occurs in dreams, the most unconnected elements suddenly reveal common features in ‚Ludwig’s Nightmare‘, and appear to belong together in a strange, distorted reality that has its own proportions, its own feeling of time and its own timelessness.”

George Michael Grau plays Auerbach’s work in complete awareness of the fact that not only Beethoven, but also Dmitri Shostakovich has left deep traces in Lera Auerbach’s music. The contrast, and also at times the split between them, are formative characteristics of the works and their interpretation. Auerbach’s technically demanding “Images of Childhood”, also included on this CD, are ambiguous, virtuosic and not infrequently irritating.

Lera Auerbach: “Images of Childhood”, Op. 52 and “Ludwig’s Nightmare”
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, Op. 7 and Op. 110
Georg Michael Grau, piano
TyxArt TXA15068 


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