Left Hand Legacy Vol. 1 (Double Album)

Folke Nauta, Lars Wouters van den Oudenweijer, Prisma String Trio

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Exclusive Early Release at NativeDSD!

Left Hand Legacy Vol. 1 is the new album featuring the Prisma String Trio.  It is available from NativeDSD in Stereo, 5 Channel and Binaural DSD. The trio’s debut album on Cobra, Le Muse (The Muse) won the 2021 NativeDSD Album of the Year Award for Chamber Music.

Two pianists were faced with a terrible choice: end of career or persevere? The Viennese pianist Paul Wittgenstein lost his right arm at the front in 1914. He persevered with incredible persistence. Pianist Folke Nauta recently lost the use of his right hand due to focal dystonia.

Folke followed Paul Wittgenstein’s trail. He traced a treasure trove of hidden chamber music for piano left hand from Wittgenstein’s library and took it to clarinetist Lars Wouters van den Oudenweijer and Prisma String Trio. These five musicians made a daring plan for two double albums, 21 concerts, four new compositions and a podcast documentary.

Treasure Trove

For far too long Paul Wittgenstein’s library was inaccessible to the world. The pianist who commissioned Maurice Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand had passed away in 1961, but his widow kept the monumental doors of their country manor firmly closed. Every musicologist knew that there must be a treasure trove hidden inside. It was not until her death in 2001 that te library was opened to the public; the first visitors must have felt like archeologists entering into a nineteenth-century world. Amidst Beethoven’s scores and a hair lock of Brahms, they discovered a pile of chamber music, specially composed for the one-handed pianist. Many works had been premièred by him in the 1920s and 30s and had since lain in quiet neglect; waiting.

Waiting

Waiting for whom? Pianists who had lost the use of their right hand in mid-career, as a result of an accident or injury. However, those seeking repertoire for the left hand came away disappointed. Among them was Siegfried Rapp, for instance, who received a letter on 5 June 1950 with the message: ‘You don’t build a house just so that someone else can live in it. I commissioned and paid for the works, the whole idea was mine […]. But those works to which I still have the exclusive performance rights are to remain mine as long as I still perform in public; that’s only right and fair. Once I am dead or no longer give concerts, then the works will be available to everyone because I have no wish for them to gather dust in libraries to the detriment of the composer.’ — Paul Wittgenstein

Original Manuscripts

Finally, the opportunity has arrived to restore Wittgenstein’s entire chamber music legacy to the place where it belongs: the concert stage. The Dutch pianist Folke Nauta had to continue his career as a one-handed pianist, after focal dystonia affected his right hand. Wittgenstein was his model and this trove of chamber music was his salvation. There was just one complicating factor: Wittgenstein’s library had become dispersed throughout the world.

Nauta tracked down the original manuscripts in Austrian and English archives, still containing Wittgenstein’s furiously scribbled annotations. The quintet formation of piano, clarinet and string trio is a consistent feature of Wittgenstein’s chamber music legacy.

So Nauta approached the clarinettist Lars Wouters van den Oudenweijer and Prisma String Trio. Together they launched the Wittgenstein Project, with the aim of bringing the music back to life and telling Wittgenstein’s extraordinary tale of misery, struggle and artistic triumph.

Folke Nauta – Piano Left Hand
Lars Wouters van den Oudenweijer – Clarinet
Prisma String Trio

Tracklist

1.
Variations on an Original Theme for piano left hand, clarinet, violin, viola and violoncello
11:36
2.
Sonata no. 3 in E major - I Allegro ma non troppo quasi Allegretto
10:48
3.
Sonata no. 3 in E major - II Quasi Andantino e grazioso
05:24
4.
Sonata no. 3 in E major - III Allegro ma non troppo - attacca
01:36
5.
Sonata no. 3 in E major - IV Allegro con spirito
06:22
6.
Quartet in A major - I Vivace ma non troppo
08:32
7.
Quartet in A major - II Presto e leggiero
06:44
8.
Quartet in A major - III Adagio, dolce ed espressivo
07:22
9.
Quartet in A major - IV Molto vivace
06:17
10.
Quintet in A major - I Allegro moderato
24:59
11.
Quintet in A major - II Intermezzo. Lento
07:34
12.
Quintet in A major - III. Scherzo. Molto vivace
11:19
13.
Quintet in A major - IV. Adagio
15:01
14.
Quintet in A major - V. Finale. Variations on a theme by Josef Labor
13:18

Total time: 02:16:52

Additional information

Label

SKU

COBRA0087

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Original Recording Format

Release Date December 30, 2022

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Cobra Records 62 albums

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