Jacques de Menasce: Chamber & Solo Piano Works
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL154     Release Date: 2010-05-01

Lillian Fuchs, viola; Joseph Fuchs, violin; Arthur Balsam, piano; Joseph Bloch, piano

Although Jacques de Menasce was born in Austria and died in Switzerland, and although he was by background and temperament a cosmopolitan, he is nevertheless identified with American music in a significant fashion, and made a signal contribution to musical life in this country. De Menasce came to the United States in 1941 and became an American citizen; many of his finest works, including the Sonata for Viola and Piano were written here.

Menasce was born in Bad Ischl, Austria, August 19, 1905. Educated in Vienna, he studied piano from the age of seven. He worked later with Emil von Sauer, and studied composition with Paul Pisk and Joseph Marx. He had close and friendly relations with Alban Berg, under whose encouragement he composed his first Piano Concerto, and also with Béla Bartók. But Menasce's musical style, while absorbing much, was never directly influenced by anyone; it remained always his own. Menasce's music is graced, as was his writing, his conversation and his manner of living, by originality, impeccability of taste, distinction of style and elevation of tone. The music is of great sophistication, yet it has warmth, wit and strength. Menasce wrote little for orchestra, and hence little of immediate appeal to large audiences. His finest is to be found in works like the Viola Sonata, in the songs and in his delightful piano music. The discipline and craftsmanship in Menasce's music is remarkable; it exhibits to the highest degree that complete control which is perhaps the basic need in the composition of our century.

Menasce's activities during his years in New York made him seem not a distinguished visitor from abroad, but a valuable colleague and collaborator whose presence was as natural as it was stimulating. His occasional concert appearances, mostly as a performer of chamber music, left an unforgettable impression of pianism of the utmost intelligence and refinement, put to the service of the most distinguished kind. And it is in this category that the compositions here recorded must be placed.

This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available as a burn-on-demand CD (CD-R) or download in MP3/320, FLAC or WAV formats. CD-Rs come in a protective sleeve; no print booklet or jewel case included. Full liner notes are accessible via the link above.

Various Artists

Jacques de Menasce: Chamber & Solo Piano Works

MP3/320 $7.99
FLAC $7.99
WAV $7.99
CD-R $7.99
CD-Rs come in a protective sleeve; no print booklet or jewel case included.


Track Listing

Sonata for Viola and Piano
Jacques de Menasce
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Sonatina No. 2 for Piano: I. Allegro
Jacques de Menasce
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Sonatina No. 2 for Piano: II. Scherzo
Jacques de Menasce
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Sonatina No. 2 for Piano: III. Adagio
Jacques de Menasce
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Sonatina No. 2 for Piano: IV. Vivacissimo
Jacques de Menasce
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Violin Sonata No. 1: I. Espressivo ‰ÛÒ Allegro
Jacques de Menasce
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Violin Sonata No. 1: II. Aria
Jacques de Menasce
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Violin Sonata No. 1: III. Allegro vivo
Jacques de Menasce
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Instantanes--Six Children's Pieces: 1. Le Rondeau de Maria
Jacques de Menasce
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Instantanes--Six Children's Pieces: 2. La Promenade de Nicolas
Jacques de Menasce
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Instantanes--Six Children's Pieces: 3. La Rengaine de Julot
Jacques de Menasce
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Instantanes--Six Children's Pieces: 4. Le Cort̬ge de Catherine
Jacques de Menasce
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Instantanes--Six Children's Pieces: 5. Le R̻ve de Poppy
Jacques de Menasce
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Instantanes--Six Children's Pieces: 6. Le Tricycle d'Olivier
Jacques de Menasce
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