Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Greatest Opus One Ever?

Berg by Schoenberg
A bit of an exaggeration, perhaps, but the title may not be far off the mark,  provided we don't take Bach's last word on the keyboard suite, the Six Partitas as his Opus one as the composer intended. Glenn Gould argued that many composers's first works are their best, and he used the Berg sonata op.1 as a major example. It is also one of his favourite pieces, so we have three recordings from him in this playlist, placed at the beginning, followed by interpretations from fourteen other pianists, arranged alphabetically. At the end, two recordings of the string sextet arrangement and an orchestra version.

Here's the Spotify playlist: Berg Piano Sonata Op.1 (21 tracks, total time: 3 hours) And Analysis of Piano Sonata, Op. 1 (1907-8) by Andrew Kuster. Tomorrow is the first day of the Year of the Rabbit,  an especially great time to enjoy this great opus one :)

P.S. I recently updated my Schoenberg Op.1-50 playlist.


  1. Hi. I love your site. Keep up the good work! Greetings from Denmark.