Fremde Szenen I–III (1982–4) is a set of piano trios by Wolfgang Rihm, one of Europe’s leading contemporary composers. Inspired by Robert Schumann, these pieces engage the swaying fluidity of his musical sensibility as a memory and as a direct presence. They immediately pose questions for anyone familiar with the traditions engaged by Rihm’s music. What does it mean at the end of the twentieth century to compose Schumann-inspired music? What does this music say about modernism? Is this music nostalgic? And how is subjectivity conveyed in this music?By combining a nineteenth-century notion of inner emotion with an intertextual model of subjectivity, these pieces fruitfully bring into contact two differing notions of self. Moreover, they enact ways of simultaneously inhabiting and transforming historical material, without drawing a rigid boundary between these states, like a form of criticism that modifies its object in the process of understanding.
Music and Letters – Oxford University Press
Published: Aug 1, 2006
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