Virtuosic Piano & Violin Duos from Jewish composers
Arnold Schoenberg’s late masterpiece Phantasy for violin with piano accompaniment was written in Los Angeles two years before his death. It demonstrates not only his mastery of serial form, but a continued interest in exploring the sonic potentialities of the violin. Wilhelm Grosz’s early compositional style emulated Mahlerian harmonic density, but his interest in jazz forms began to emerge with Jazzband for violin and piano. Composed in 1923, it is possibly the earliest manifestation of jazz idioms in a concert form by an Austrian composer.
Born in Finland, trained in St Petersburg, Moses and Simon Pergament were prominent musical personalities in Scandinavia. Moses studied as a violinist and conductor, settling permanently in Stockholm, where he worked as a music critic and conductor of choirs and orchestras. His brother Simon studied piano and composition before returning to Helsinki to work in opera and with radio symphony orchestras. Both brothers rejected atonal innovations; both brothers wore their Jewish identities and cosmopolitan sensibilities with pride, often in the face of blatant Antisemitism.