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Arnold Schoenberg: Sechs kleine Klavierst​ü​cke - iv. Sehr langsam

by Robert Nance

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On a first listen, Schoenberg’s work can sometimes feel a bit acerbic and unapproachable, but he was a composer who clearly poured an abundance of emotion into his music. His Sechs kleine Klavierstücke remain some of the most intensely compact pieces of music I know. The sixth movement, Sehr langsam (very slow), is only 90 seconds long, but it hits so damn hard. You can feel every gesture, and most importantly feel the space in between every gesture; like staring at a sparse landscape painting. I always had wondered what it might be like to play with the space in the piece: playing a piano piece on the electric guitar and highlighting the textures of gestures within the negative space by using a tape delay as an additional instrument. It felt like an opportunity waiting to happen. Schoenberg wrote these pieces as he was working on his Gurrelieder - a massive post-romantic choral and orchestral work of his and it’s clear how much of a foil these pieces served for him. The sixth one in question served as a sort of homage to the then-recently passed Gustav Mahler. This piece is slow. Very very slow. And quiet. With a bounty of time and space as it draws your ear to the time around the played notes. Every gesture feels like a supernova happening ages away. It demands an ear and a mind that are both focused without being over-focused.


released March 4, 2022
Arranged, performed, produced, and mixed by Robert Nance
Mastered by Myles Boisen




Robert Nance Los Angeles, California

Robert Nance is an American guitarist, composer, and producer creating immersive sonic cocoons through the use of guitars, synthesizers, electronics, and field recordings. His works seek to build lusciously abstract environments that invite listeners to engage as actively or passively as their own experience unfolds. ... more

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