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Aaron Wyanski – ‘SCHOENBERG: Drei Klavierstücke, Op. 11’ [EP] [Album Review]

With its ambitiously glitchy mood, ‘SCHOENBERG: Drei Klavierstücke, Op. 11’ finds Aaron Wyanski plumbing atonal complexities in classical jazz.

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Aaron Wyanski ‘SCHOENBERG: Drei Klavierstücke, Op. 11’ album artwork
Aaron Wyanski ‘SCHOENBERG: Drei Klavierstücke, Op. 11’ album artwork

Maine-based composer, pianist, and musicologist Aaron Wyanski recently released his EP, SCHOENBERG: Drei Klavierstücke, Op. 11, continuing his exploration of and homage to the great composer Arnold Schönberg.

Fascinated by Schönberg’s compositions from a young age and his concept of atonality, this EP is Wyanski’s third in a series of deep dives into the concept via the medium of jazz.

Known as one of history’s most famous music theorists, Arnold Schönberg’s atonality theory and structure have been deemed one of the most influential on modern music; his compositions in the early 20th century gave way to the genre of jazz as we know it today, and forward into almost all genres which are popular today.

Following the idea, not only from Schönberg, but from other dissonant and experimental artists such as Frank Zappa and Philip Glass, Wyanski’s compositions reveal a musique concrète feel, seemingly disjointed yet looping back on themselves. The intersection of all these loops creates an “all notes are present” impression that’s key to these three compositions.

Mäßige” rolls out on chiming tones and a sporadic saxophone, giving the tune a jazz fusion flavor, as well as dissonance. More brass colors enter, providing a disjointed layering of textures.

Sehr langsam,” travels on a loose rhythm topped by almost disconnected instruments, infusing the melody with a fragmented sensation that slowly wrinkles and sways. Coming across as almost dirge-like on one level and like improvised jazz on another level, hints of classical surfaces and operatic vocals give the composition a drifting, migratory ambiance.

Aaron Wyanski, photo courtesy of Aaron Wyanski

Aaron Wyanski, photo courtesy of Aaron Wyanski

The closing track, “Bewegte,” unveils a Latin-lite rhythm mixed with conflicting brass injections that culminate in a joggling outro.

With its ambitiously glitchy mood, SCHOENBERG: Drei Klavierstücke, Op. 11 finds Aaron Wyanski plumbing avant-garde complexities in classical jazz.

SCHOENBERG: Drei Klavierstücke, Op. 11 Track Listing:

1. Mäßige
2. Sehr langsam
3. Bewegte

Run Time: 12:42
Release Date: February 2, 2024
Record Label: Speculative Records

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