Werner Barho & C. René Hirschfeld | Frieze of Life

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Frieze of Life

by Werner Barho & C. René Hirschfeld

Hirschfeld's "Frieze of Life" is an epic music for piano solo, based on poetry and art by the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, played by the German pianist Werner Barho. It is however not necessary to know the works of Munch to feel the tight atmosphere.
Genre: Classical: Piano solo
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Frieze of Life: No. I, Loneliness
Werner Barho & C. René Hirschfeld
18:57 album only
2. Frieze of Life: No. II, Fear
Werner Barho & C. René Hirschfeld
12:08 $1.99
3. Frieze of Life: No. III, Desire
Werner Barho & C. René Hirschfeld
13:41 $1.99
4. Frieze of Life: No. IV, Death
Werner Barho & C. René Hirschfeld
12:29 $1.99
5. Frieze of Life: No. V, Love
Werner Barho & C. René Hirschfeld
11:58 $1.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
C. René Hirschfeld: ”Frieze of Life”
Music in 5 parts for piano solo from C. René Hirschfeld after Edvard Munch

The Frieze of Life (”Livsfrisen”) is generally considered as the major work of the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch (1863 – 1944) in the first half of his life . He worked decades on the idea of a cycle of paintings or graphics showing the endless circle of human life, love and pain.
There were three main topics in which the Frieze should be structured and around which all other subjects should revolve: love, fear, dead.
Most of the pictures of the ”Frieze of Life” were preceded by more or less spontaneous literally drafts. This may however not seduce us to see these texts as descriptions of the paintings or the pictures as illustrations to the texts. Texts and pictures were both stages on the search for the ultimate expression. Thus he painted many pictures again and again (the famous ”Scream” for instance more than 50 times) and in his poetry we find repetitions too.

In Hirschfeld's music in 5 parts for piano solo the idea of Munch’s ”Frieze of Life” is translated to music. It is a cycle of 73 minutes, based on his studies of Munch’s art and poetry, whereas for the developing of the musical form the text’s where more important then the pictures.
The music is written in contemporary sound language, avoiding superficial geographic or time relations to Munch’s life. The work is structured as a cycle of variations, moving between the spontaneous and partly fragmentary emotions of Munch’s texts and the very concentrated and clear structuring of his paintings. Again, the music is not some kind of illustration of Munch's texts or pictures, it is rather kind of a translation into an other medium, into the language of music. So it is absolutely not necessary to know Munch's work for feeling the content.

Changing Munch’s own order, the piano cycle has 5 parts:
Loneliness - (sea woman – madonna – evening – melancholy – jealousy – sphinx)
Fear - (street scene/evening on Karl-Johan-Street – scream)
Desire - (vampire – ashes – parting – restless – sphinx II)
Dead - (angels of death – fever)
Love - (two people – summernight – sphinx III – attraction – kiss)

The transitions between the different musical ”pictures” within the 5 main parts are often hazy as they are no separate pieces but stages in the circle of life and have to be played attacca.

The cycle is played by the outstanding German pianist Werner Barho. He is specialised on contemporary music and has played the cycle in numerous concerts and also in museums for Munch's exhibitions.



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