Bernstein Carter Copland Fine Piston



Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) SONATE FÜR KLARINETTE UND KLAVIER (1941/42) Walter Piston (1894-1976) STREICHQUARTETT NR. 1 (1933) Irving Fine (1914-1962) SONATE FÜR VIOLINE UND KLAVIER (1945/46) Elliott Carter (*1908) "ELEGY" FÜR STREICHQUARTETT (1946) Aaron Copland (1900-1990) SEXTETT FÜR KLARINETTE, STREICHQUARTETT UND KLAVIER (1947)


For American art music, the 1920s were a decade characterized by a basic criticism of tradition and an optimistic opening up to Modernism. However, around 1930 a distinct change of direction became apparent, the reason being the economic collapse and the concomitant political changes. A call for a comprehensible musical language that everyone could understand now became more audible; this was joined by a demand for a music that was explicitly “American” in historical and geographical terms. The upper hand was then won by those younger composers who had already tended to a more moderate form of Modernism, among them Aaron Copland and Walter Piston. They both let themselves be led by the need for comprehensibility, but went their own separate ways nevertheless. Copland decided upon an “American” style based on national themes and subjects. Piston however held to a largely “abstract” music. Not least on account of this, Piston became an important representative of that stream of moderate Modernism that can be regarded as classicistic. It is a treat that was carried on in the early works of his pupils Elliott Carter, Irving Fine and Leonard Bernstein. The Paul Sacher Foundation in Basle is a research centre for music of the twentieth century. On the occasion of its tenth anniversary, a series of events on the topic “Classicistic Modernism” took place in early 1996, among them being the concert of American music recorded on this CD.


Leonard Berstein; Elliott Carter; Aaron Copland; Irving Fine; Walter Piston.


Eduard Brunner (Klarinette), Adrian Oetiker (Klavier), Amati-Quartett: Willi Zimmermann, Katarzyna Nawrotek (Violine), Nicolas Corti (Viola), Claudius Hermann (Violoncello).

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