60189 - Rating 3 Stars

Nietzsche: Complete Solo Piano Works
John Sunier
Audiophile Audition, October 17, 2009
Rating: 3 stars

Of music, Nietzsche said: "All those who disdain it are to be regarded as inane, animal-like creatures." Well, I never delved deeply into Nietzche but after reading that Iíve become more interested. It turns out that the primary influence on Nietzcheís life, thinking and philosophizing was music. No other philosopher has personally demonstrated his own uncompromising dedication to music more unconditionally than Friedrich Nietzsche. He entrusted all his major musical ideas to the piano, impressing his friends as a student with his improvisations. He was a self-taught composer, and unfortunately upon listening to the 18 tracks of this packed SACD one becomes eventually aware of that. He wrote 72 works in all, of which about 50 have survived. Who knew that Nietzche was a composer? - even though this is primarily eager juvenilia.

Some of the miniatures are similar to Chopin, others to Liszt. There are also echoes of Mahler, Beethoven, and Schumann. He also wrote lieds, composing the music first and then seeking out a poem that would suit it. Krücker performs the pieces to be in their best light; not his fault if they donít quite measure up. He uses a lot of pedal, making the dissonance of some of the pieces more palatable. NCA is doing many other more worthwhile SACDs and should be complimented for this interesting historical effort, in state of the art surround sonics. Sorry, I wonít bother with listing all 27 tracks in their original German, which wonít mean that much anyway, even with the translations.

Audiophile Audition - USA - John Sunier 17.10.2009