Pianist Shai Wosner explores the inner connections between the musical languages of Brahms and Schoenberg on his first commercial recording to be released by ONYX on Tuesday, October 12, 2010. The recital album pairs in alternation Brahms's Fantasies Op. 116 and Schoenberg's Six Little Pieces Op. 19, framed by two homages to tradition: Schoenberg’s Suite for piano Op. 25 and Brahms’s Handel Variations.
In his liner notes, Mr. Wosner writes that "it is hard to find two composers who at once have so much in common and that have inspired such wildly different reactions as Brahms and Schoenberg". He adds that although both were great innovators, the two composers also shared an acute sense of music history: “Brahms’s music is often inspired by the legacies of his predecessors and the tension between them, with Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven on one hand and Chopin and Schumann on the other. Schoenberg, similarly, thought in terms of evolution rather than revolution and both men’s works often display a sense of duty to meld various strains of tradition in search of new meaning and with a view to the future.”