Like many long-lived composers before him, Ernst Krenek composed for so many decades that his music is sometimes divided into periods, for the convenience of explaining his many changes of styles and techniques. Audite's 2013 album of Krenek's chamber works presents representative pieces in premiere recordings that reflect distinct phases, from the free atonality of the Sonata for solo violin No. 1 (1925), to the neo-Romanticism of the Triophantasie (1929), which was modeled after Franz Schubert, to the twelve-tone works profoundly influenced by Arnold Schoenberg, the Sonata for violin and piano (1945) and the Sonata for solo violin No. 2 (1948), a consolidation of Krenek's thinking in a work that looks back to the first piece on the program. Such polystylism and adoption of new methods was characteristic of many artists finding their way through the myriad possibilities of modernism, and Krenek succeeded better than most, not by chasing fashions but by adapting them to his needs, in what was clearly an organic development. This CD by the Johannes Kreisler Trio (violinist Christoph Schickedanz, cellist Mathias Beyer-Karlshoj, and pianist Holger Spegg) does justice to this corner of Krenek's music, and the clarity and warmth of their playing makes this music attractive and easy to appreciate.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Sonata No. 1 for Solo Violin, Op. 33|
|Sonata for Violin & Piano, Op. 99|
|Sonata No. 2 for Solo Violin, Op. 115|