lesser known works : webern two pieces (1899)

Two Pieces for Cello and Piano (1899)*

Clemens Hagen (cello) and Oleg Maisenberg (piano)

I encourage you to read the program notes at Classical Archives keeping in mind the reordering note below. Webern’s first piece ever written (that we known of) when he was 15 catches him at a compositional period before he started with 12-tone/serial writing. Nothing like the 1914 Cello Sonata or 3 Small Pieces for Cello, this work to me feels like succinct romanticism…and manages to say in two, two minute segments what many other pieces say in half an hour. Quiet…introspective…and absolutely gorgeous. I hope you love it.

*note : This recording plays the pieces in reverse order from what they are printed. Both pieces are composed in 1899, however only one of them as a date within that year (the second heard here, which is labeled in October) and both are unnamed. When Piatigorsky re-discovered the two pieces in 1970 and had them first published, he chose the order, not the composer. I much prefer the “reverse” order Hagen uses, as the pieces connect much better to each other this way.

Get the recordings mentioned in this post:

You can find this recording on either of these CDs. Keep in mind, in the Complete Webern boxed set, its on CD 6.