Erich Itor Kahn: Piano Works/Edmind Haines: String Quartet
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCRL188     Release Date: 2010-06-15

Erich Itor Kahn, piano; Oxford String Quartet: Elizabeth Walker and Adon Foster violins; Joseph Bein, viola; Elizabeth Potteiger, cello

As composer, Erich Itor Kahn produced a catalog of acknowledged compositions numbering about two-score works, extending over a period from 1930 (the Marienlieder, Op. 4, for soprano and piano) to 1954 (the String Quartet, Op. 13, and Vocalise, Op. 14, for five-part a cappella chorus). Though the serial concept was basic to Kahn’s musical thinking from first to last, his application of the Schoenbergian principle was essentially free -- one might say even ecumenical in the Henry Cowell sense. For during his years in France, Kahn began working creatively with both French and Eastern European Jewish folk materials (Les Symphonies bretonnes, Op. 6a, Petite Suite bretonne, Trois Chansons populaires, Op. 6b, and the Three Madrigals and Chassidic Rhapsody comprising Op. 5). Understandably, too, Kahn was deeply affected by the fate of his friends and humanity at large caught up in the Nazi and subsequently general world Holocaust. Hence the titles of such works as the Ciaccona dei tempi di guerra recorded here, Nenia Judaeis qui hac aetate perierunt, Op. 11, for ’cello and piano, and the Actus Tragicus, Op. 12, for ten solo instruments.

However, it should be emphasized that the use of folk material or evocative titles in no way vitiates the structural power of the works in question, but simply acknowledges the role of poetic impulse and inspiration in the creative act, together with those aesthetic principles that make for order and strength in the finished work of art.

Concerning the String Quartet No. 4, Edmund Haines tells us:

“Essentially, the Quartet No. 4 is a set of variations on three short ideas presented in the opening slow theme, freely treated and arranged to form groups that simulate ‘movements’ rather than to stand in sharply alternating contrast. As originally composed, the nine sections are: Theme, Pastoral, Air (omitted in this recorded performance), Dance, Second Dance, Scherzo, Soliloquy, Toccata, Finale and Epilogue.

“The first three sections represent a slow opening movement; the Dances and Scherzo a unit; the Soliloquy and Toccata a movement-unit of contrasting moods and tempos; and the Finale and Epilogue a coda to the entire structure. The Air is an optional variation, and it is not performed on this recording.”


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

Erich Itor Kahn: Piano Works/Edmind Haines: String Quartet

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

Short Piano Piece (from Op. 12)
Erich Itor Kahn
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from Eight Inventions, Op. 7: No. 1, in C
Erich Itor Kahn
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from Eight Inventions, Op. 7: No. 2, sur une bercelonette
Erich Itor Kahn
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from Eight Inventions, Op. 7: No. 3, on a theme of Brahms
Erich Itor Kahn
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from Eight Inventions, Op. 7: No. 5, Energico
Erich Itor Kahn
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from Eight Inventions, Op. 7: No. 6, Hommage a Ravel
Erich Itor Kahn
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Ciaccona dei tempi di guerra, Op. 10
Erich Itor Kahn
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String Quartet No. 4: I. Theme
Edmund Haines
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String Quartet No. 4: II. Pastoral
Edmund Haines
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String Quartet No. 4: III. Dance
Edmund Haines
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String Quartet No. 4: IV. Second Dance
Edmund Haines
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String Quartet No. 4: V. Scherzo
Edmund Haines
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String Quartet No. 4: VI. Soliloquy
Edmund Haines
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String Quartet No. 4: VII. Toccata
Edmund Haines
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String Quartet No. 4: VIII. Finale and Epilogue
Edmund Haines
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