Ruth Schonthal: Nachklänge (1967-74)

Hannes Heher: Drei kleine Klavierstücke (Mini Musik III) (2007)

Karlheinz EsslWebernSpielWerk für Toy Piano (2005/2022)

John Cage: In the Name of the Holocaust (1942)

Arnold Schönberg: Sechs kleine Klavierstücke op. 19 (1911)

Jörg Widmann: Hallstudie (2003)


The ringing of bells as a means of remembrance is manifested through various pianistic guises, with the grand piano functioning as an “ear” that allows everything that is played to resonate. Half-remembered quotations emerge distorted by temporal distance and through the piano’s preparation. Acoustic and emotional echoes converge and intermingle.



25 April 2024, 6:30, Arnold Schönberg Center




Mario Bertoncini: Pix (2014)

Olga Neuwirth: incidendo/fluido für Klavier und Zuspielung (2000)

Arnold Schönberg: Klavierstück op. 11/2 (Konzertmäßige Interpretation von Ferruccio Busoni) (1909)

Wolfgang Mitterer: Uluru 2 für präpariertes Klavier und Tonband (1999)

Alberto Posadas: Erinnerungsspuren/Anklänge an »La cathédrale engloutie« (2015)

Karlheinz Essl/Gerhard Eckel: Con una certa espressione parlante for extended piano, computer and vibration speaker


“Transmuting orchestral qualities into piano music” inspired Busoni to arrange Schönberg’s piano piece. By contrast, many extended piano techniques distort the piano sounds and blur their origin. Reminiscences, paraphrases, quotations and echoes of Debussy and Beethoven’s “speaking expression,” music box melodies and sound collages arouse familiar associations and link up with the diverse sound world of the extended piano.



Natalie Prawossudowitsch: Primitivi op. 17  (1926-27)

Charlotte Seither:  Gran Passo (2006)

John Cage:  Prelude for Meditation (1944); 4'33'' (1952)

Annea Lockwood: Ear-Walking Woman (1996)

Katharina Klement: tatsächlich ohne Ausdruck (2013)

Anna Thorvaldsdottir: Scape (2011)


Like a hiker exploring a landscape, "Ear-Walking Woman" sets out on an expedition to the inner workings of the piano. Attentive listening

and sensitivity for sound variants and differentiation lead the pianist towards the rich sounds experienced in the stillness.  The program also includes completely notated works that require the audience to adopt a different way of listening: for example, the detuning of the piano’s sound in connection with a layer of sound that is “incorporated” or “fed” into the piano, changing rhythm to pitch, deliberate inexpressiveness, or or the explicit simplicity of the piano pieces by Schönberg's student Natalie Prawossudowitsch.



Alexander Zemlinsky: Stimme des Abends op. 9/1 (1900)

Franz Liszt: Unstern! (1886)

Thomas Larcher:  Smart Dust (2005)

Mauricio Kagel: MM 51 - Ein Stück Filmmusik für Klavier (1976)

Christoph Renhart: Mondviolen (2013)

Gèrard Pesson:  La lumière n'a pas de bras pour nous porter (2009)

C. Curtis-Smith: Rhapsodies (1973)


The central themes of this program are the allure and the abyss of „dark forces“. The night, the moon, light, imminent danger, fear and catastrophe show up as poetic topoi of romantic night music, as a parody of their clichès in film music, or as a soulless threat through modern technology. In richly coloured sonic vesture of the „extended piano“ a game unfolds with quotations, echoes and commentaries. Arnold Schoenberg, who turned towards the nocturnal-otherworldly himself in some works, glimmers from behind hidden recesses.



Karlheinz Essl/Gerhard Eckel: Con una certa espressione parlante for extended piano, computer and vibration speaker (1985/2015)

Wolfgang Mitterer: Uluru 2 für präpariertes Klavier und Tonband (1999)

Thomas Larcher: Smart Dust (2005)

Katharina Klement: Tatsächlich ohne Ausdruck (2012)

Christoph Renhart:  Mondviolen (2013)

Grzegorz Pieniek: Unknown Path (2014)

Dino Residbegovic: Visiting speech therapist for amplified piano/Percussion étude and Tapping étude (2014-16)




Arnold Schoenberg: Sechs kleine Klavierstücke op. 19 (1911)

Leo Ornstein: Impression de Notre Dame op. 16/2 (1914)

Henry Cowell:  The Banshee (1925), Tiger (1928)

John Cage: Mysterious Adventure (1945)

George Crumb: Makrokosmos I (Twelve Fantasy-Pieces after the Zodiac fpr amplified piano) (1972)

Leo Ornstein was one of the first pianists, and also the most exciting of them, who made Schoenberg’s piano works known in the US in the 1910s. He combined Schoenberg’s opp. 11 and 19 with his own compositions, which brought him the image of the “bad boy” in the progressive music scene not least due to his frequent employment of cluster-like chords. Cowell surpassed Ornstein by using his arms and fists to play clusters, he adopted Schoenberg’s "Klavierflageolett", and in his string piano pieces paved the way for the prepared piano as used by Schoenberg and Cowell’s pupil John Cage. With the concentration on one phenomenon of the extended piano lending each of these early works its own individual, characteristic soundscape, in his "Makrokosmos" Crumb creates a highly elaborated synthesis and additional expansion of fascinating sound worlds.



Arnold Schoenberg: Klavierstück op. 11/1 (1909)

Hans Erich Apostel: Kubiniana op. 13/1, 5 und 8 (1945-50)

John Cage: Pastorale Nr. 1 (1952)

Henry Cowell: Sinister Resonance (ca. 1930)

Karlheinz Essl:  Sequitur XIII for extended piano and live-electronics (2009)

Jörg Widmann: Hallstudie (2003)

In 1909, Schoenberg symbolized faraway ocean sounds in his piano lied Am Strande (At the Beach) by using “flageolet – silently depressing the keys.” Thus the piano’s sonic scope was enriched by a resonance sound for the first time; Schönberg used it again the same year in his piano piece Op. 11/1. In various compositional ways, this program traces the potential of this phenomenon, using overtones, resonances and reverberation effects, expansion and differentiation of Klangfarbe, tension between quiet and sound, impulse and echo.



Thomas Larcher: Smart Dust (2005)

Jörg Widmann: Hallstudie (2003)

Rued Langgaard: Insektarium BNV 134 (1917)

Karlheinz Essl/Gerhard Eckel: Con una certa espressione parlante for extended piano, computer and vibration speaker (1985/2015)

Karlheinz Essl: Sequitur XIII for extended piano and live-electronics (2009)

Leo Ornstein: Suicide in an Airplane

Hannes Heher: Drei kleine Klavierstücke (Mini Musik III)

Hannes Heher: Mini Musik I for Piano four hands

Klaus Ager: Silences VII for Prepared Piano four hands (1972/73)

Individual program proposals for further extended piano projects and other concert formats are available upon request.