Herzogenberg: Piano Music
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Heinrich von Herzogenberg: Piano Music

Catalogue Number: TOCC0010
EAN: 5060113440105
Release Date: 2 March 2005
Duration: 77:21

Theme and Variations for two pianos, Op. 13
Allotria for piano duet, Op. 33, Book 1
Variations on a Theme of Brahms for piano duet, Op. 23
Waltzes for piano duet, Op. 53
Variations on the Minuet from ‘Don Juan’, Op. 58
Capriccio for piano solo, Op. 107

Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow, piano duet
Anthony Goldstone, piano

Heinrich von Herzogenberg (1843–1900), though a highly respected figure in his own time, has only recently begun to be rediscovered as a gifted and immediately communicative composer. His music, like that of his hero, Brahms, offers an effortless flow of beautiful melody – and, as also with Brahms, behind the apparently serious demeanour there lurks plenty of rhythmic pep and an easy-going sense of fun.

Booklet texts   (PDF)

Track Listing, MP3 Downloads and Streaming Samples

Track No. Track Title / Details Duration Sample Add to Cart
1-10 Theme and Variations for two pianos, Op. 13 (1869)

Heinrich von Herzogenberg, composer
Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow, piano duet

(first recording)
1 Theme, Langsam, innig 1:39 play
2 Variation 1, Bewegter 1:20 play
3 Variation 2, In gleichem Tempo 1:33 play
4 Variation 3, Ziemlich langsam 1:33 play
5 Variation 4, Rasch 1:31 play
6 Variation 5, Sehr langsam 2:33 play
7 Variation 6, Etwas bewegt 1:28 play
8 Variation 7, Langsam 3:43 play
9 Variation 8, Sehr rasch 0:55 play
10 Variation 9, Majestätisch 2:15 play
11-13 Allotria for piano duet, Op. 33, Book 1 (1869)

Heinrich von Herzogenberg, composer
Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow, piano duet

(first recording)
11 No. 1, Allegro 2:45 play
12 No. 2, Allegretto 1:38 play
13 No. 3, Allegro agitato 3:32 play
14-16 Variations on a Theme of Brahms for piano duet, Op. 23 (1869)

Heinrich von Herzogenberg, composer
Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow, piano duet
14 Andante – Adagio – Con moto – Allegro – L’istesso tempo – Poco meno mosso, ma agitato 5:24 play
15 Allegretto – Lento appassionato 3:35 play
16 Allegretto – Meno mosso 3:47 play
17-22 Waltzes for piano duet, Op. 53 (1869)

Heinrich von Herzogenberg, composer
Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow, piano duet
17 No. 1, Allegro commodo 0:48 play
18 No. 2, L’istesso tempo 1:13 play
19 No. 3, Agitato e grazioso 1:46 play
20 No. 4, Tempo I 1:55 play
21 No. 5, Poco maestoso 1:46 play
22 No. 6, L’istesso tempo 2:42 play
23-34 Variations on the Minuet from ‘Don Juan’ for piano solo, Op. 58 (1869)

Heinrich von Herzogenberg, composer
Anthony Goldstone, piano

(first recording)
23 Thema, Moderato 0:59 play
24 Variation 1, Allegro 0:46 play
25 Variation 2, Poco meno mosso 0:47 play
26 Variation 3, Allegretto 0:54 play
27 Variation 4, Allegro energico 0:51 play
28 Variation 5, Andantino 1:12 play
29 Variation 6, Allegro 0:53 play
30 Variation 7, Scherzando 1:02 play
31 Variation 8, Larghetto 1:44 play
32 Variation 9, Vivace 0:33 play
33 Variation 10, Largo 1:41 play
34 Variation 11, Poco Adagio 2:46 play
35-40 Capriccio for piano solo, Op. 107 (1869)

Heinrich von Herzogenberg, composer
Anthony Goldstone, piano

(first recording)
35 No. 1, Grazioso 1:36 play
36 No. 2, Allegretto 1:45 play
37 No. 3, Andante 4:01 play
38 No. 4, Vivace 1:39 play
39 No. 5, Agitato 1:02 play
40 No. 6, Moderato 3:49 play


Heinrich von Herzogenberg

Heinrich von Herzogenberg, composer

Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow

Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow, piano duet

Anthony Goldstone

Anthony Goldstone, piano


Glorious Duo-Piano Music from an Almost-Forgotten Master

J Scott Morrison Amazon 14th July 2007

If Heinrich von Herzogenberg’s name seems strangely familiar, it’s almost certainly because he was not only one of Brahms’s most devoted champions, but he was also a prime force in establishing modern Bach scholarship, alongside Philip Spitta. As can be gathered from this fine recital, he was additionally a fine composer in the Brahmsian mould.

This is one of the first releases on the new Toccata Classics label, and if the exemplary standards of this collection are anything to go by collectors are in for a treat. Anthony Goldstone contributes a lengthy and insightful essay on the music, and with his wife, Caroline Clemmow, plays these unfairly neglected scores (four are premiere recordings) with a majestic command that suggests far greater familiarity with these rare gems than can surely have been the case.

In their inspired hands the almost symphonic weight of the Op. 13 Variations possess an emotional depth and power that sweeps the listener along in its wake, while the six Op. 53 Waltzes turn out to be enchanting miniatures that leave one thirsting for more once their allotted ten minutes is up. The recording, made in a Lincolnshire church last year, combines warmth and detail to perfection, with an impressive weight and depth to the sound.

Julian Haylock BBC Music Magazine

The recorded discography of Heinrich von Herzongenberg is as yet tiny. There are a few discs of chamber music, the Mass, Op 87, and the oratorio The Birth of Christ, but very little else. So Anthony Goldstone’s and Caroline Clemmow’s recording of music for two pianos, piano duet and solo piano is a significant and welcome contribution in the quest to reassess his standing.

Herzogenberg was born in Graz in 1843, met Brahms in Vienna while still in his teens, and in 1872 moved to Leipzig, where he jointly founded with Spitta and others the Bachverein, whose conductor he eventually became. Brahms was his idol. Herzogenberg generously promoted his music, an action that sadly remained unreciprocated even after they became friends in the 1870’s. In fact, Brahms rather scorned Herzogenberg’s music, which the young man offered up for judgement with what seems to have been embarrassing deference. Goldstone’s own booklet notes posit the theory that Brahms had been besotted by Herzogenberg [sic: by Herzogenberg’s wife, Elisabeth] from the moment he set eyes on him. He’s known to have kept a photo of him on his desk. His failure to do anything more than faintly praise, things Goldstone, was due to his deep-seated resentment that Herzogenberg was very happily married to a woman who was briefly a piano student of Brahms in Vienna. The words of a man of Brahm’s reputation held weight. Thus was created a reputation held being second-rate, a pale imitator of Brahms, a reputation hardly helped by Herzogenberg’s unassertive, rather than a perpetrator of the old traditions.

My impression on first hearing this disc all the way through were that Herzogenberg’s is solid, competently written music, lacking the poetic depth and the emotional extremes of Schumann, and without the tough inner core, the assured ripeness of Brahms, though the style has much in common with both. But it also came across as resourceful and inventive, and as Goldstone points out, perhaps it is simply unfamiliarity that at first made it hard for me to pin-point what it is that lies between the notes, beyond the style. A couple of weeks on, and I find myself warming to this music more and more. It does have its own identity, and that identity is a strong affecting one, whether Herzogenberg is being serious and substantive or more light-hearted. It’s useful that both stances are represented here. In lighter vein are the three pieces – a waltz-come-scherzo, slightly Hungarian-flavoured, a short intermezzo, and a swift, closing tarantella – of the first book of Allotria, Op. 33, of 1882 and the Six Waltzes Op. 53 of 1887, both of piano duet. It’s playful, genial music, but it’s artful too. The serious stuff begins with the Theme and Variations for two pianos, Op. 13, composed in the late 1860s and an impressive piece by any standards, constantly varied in mood and texture, resourceful in its exploitation of its theme, confidently and beautiful shaped, and, not least, magnificently written for the medium. Goldstone’s note puts it alongside Brahms’s own Haydn Variations and Schumann’s Andante and Variations, and I’m finding it increasingly difficult to disagree. Even more impressive, however, is Variations on a Theme of Brahms’s lovely, mournful early song ‘Die Traurende’. Herzogenberg applies a sophisticated advancement of variation technique entailing a metamorphic approach which somehow preserves the essence of its model’s warmth and tenderness, however energetic the music’s surface sometimes becomes.

Two substantial solo works, both terrifically played by Goldstone, complete the disc. First there’s the Variations on the Minuet from ‘Don Juan’, Op. 58, composed in 1889 and cleverly including references to more than the famous, galant tune from the Act 1 party scene of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Indeed, the penultimate variation evokes the Don’s vision of hell in all its terror. And finally there’s the Capriccio, Op. 107, published in the last year of Herzogenberg’s life, 1900. Brahms was dead by now, and in this remarkable, chromatic work, a rich, late-Romantic outpouring par excellence culminating in a fugue, we glimpse a composer liberated from hero-workship and looking towards progressive things.

The playing throughout shows much more than dedication to an obscure cause. Goldstone and Clemmov are a formidable team, unanimous both in attack and in interpretative ideals. Their conviction that this is far from second-rate music is infectious, and they make a warm, resonant, beautifully coloured sound that serves Herzogenberg’s art admirably.

Stephen Pettitt International Record Review

History knows Heinrich Picot de Peccaduc, Freiherr von Herzogenberg, as one of Brahms’ most ardent champions – though probably Brahms never quite forgave him for marrying his adored golden-haired pupil Elisabeth von Stockhausen. Despite her pleading, Brahms seldom found a kind word for her husband’s compositions.

It’s said that Herzogenberg’s music was too much in thrall to Brahms’s idioms. Only partly true, as Anthony Goldstone and Catherine Clemmow reveal in this satisfying selection of his solo piano, two-piano and piano-duet works. Possibly the most impressive thing here is the early Theme and Variations, written before Herzogenberg had ever met Brahms: Goldstone claims it as ‘one of the most masterly two-piano works in variation from of the 19th century’.

Variation form was important to Herzogenberg. The formally flexible metamorphoses which comprise the op 23 Brahms Variations contrast with the robust classicism of the solo Variations on the Minuet from Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Apart from the waltzes and Brahms Variations, everything on the CD is recorded for the first time, in ideally eloquent performances that bring out the excellence of Herzogenberg’s keyboard writing and in beautifully natural sound. Warmly recommended for intrinsic interest, not just as an act of restitution.

Calum MacDonald Piano Magazine


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