Sunday, August 17, 2008

Erwin Schulhoff (1894-1942)

Tomorrow will be the 66th anniversary of the death of Czech-born musician Erwin Schulhoff, who died from tuberculosis in a Nazi concentration camp.

Last year I noted that Schulhoff had written a silent work that predated John Cage's 4'33", and I also drew attention to some of Schulhoff's excellent, crowd-pleasing string music.

This year I ask you to consider one of his more avant-garde works, Sonata Erotica (1919). Jeremy Eichler wittily called it "a sort of German Dadaist version of Meg Ryan's famous diner scene in 'When Harry Met Sally.'"

Here's a performance by Quirine Melssen, who does it from memory.

Source (5:57)

And here's a different interpretation (especially in the last movement) by Helena Remeijers Moloek, who mostly reads off the (very cool-looking) score.

Source (8:07)

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