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Music For Egon Schiele

4.7 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 20, 1996
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

20th anniversary of this beautiful Post-rock, Chamber music & Instrumental from 1996.

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Originally performed as a live accompaniment for a 1995 theater-dance production about the life of painter Egon Schiele, this is the both the exception to the Rachel's rule and their defining moment. Though they are normally a three-headed, multiperson new-music and classical ensemble centered around Jason Noble (ex-Rodan), Christian Frederickson, and Rachel Grimes, this suite was written entirely by Grimes and performed by Grimes (on piano), Frederickson (viola), and cellist Wendy Doyle. As always, the music (not to mention the letter-pressed packaging) is spellbinding; the fact that this is classical music by--and for--people who grew up on indie rock in no way diminishes it, nor does it make the music too low-brow for those with a classical background. For a more complete picture of what the entire Rachel's ensemble is capable of, both Handwriting and The Sea and the Bells are recommended. --Randy Silver
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 20, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Quarter Stick
  • ASIN: B0000037O3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,869 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
It is rare that an instrumental album grabs and holds my attention so strongly. Music for Egon Schiele was a gift from an old friend on my twentieth birthday last year. It was raining when I picked up the mail. The second it spun, I was lost in the deepness of a cello and the compassion of a piano. I remember riding the bus to class with headphones that day as tears began to stream down my cheeks. The same emotions once brought forth by nostalgia or love emerged shockingly from this music. There is nothing like this album; I would reccommend it to anyone with a pulse. I give it a thousand stars. I've never heard any of the other albums by Rachel's completely; Systems/ Layers seems more experimental, the Sea and the Bells sounds very much like this one only softer and more seabound, Handwriting is up next. Here lies some true talent and beauty.
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Format: Audio CD
The simplicity and warmth from the piano/viola/cello trio configuration on Music for Egon Schiele set this album apart from the other Rachel's recordings. As on their other albums, they compose their own material and play beautifully. I am part of a bass clarinet/viola duo that idolizes this group and we admire any chamber group that can get filed in the indie rock section. Music for Egon Schiele is our (mutually) favorite album. One of my former bass clarinet students (really into indie rock) turned me on to Rachel's and I am forever grateful.
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Format: Audio CD
There is a repetitive, hypnotic quality to this music written in minor keys. Each beat is a pulse that matches the length of Schiele's calligraphic draftsmanship--just trace (while listening) around one of his drawings to see what I mean. The pathos of his work is equally expressed in the music and reflects, to me, at least, the sadness of his struggle and the composer's sympathy with his unfortunate premature death. Yet, for different reasons, both artists have succeeded. Too bad there's no video of the dance to accompany this fine musical offering.
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Format: Audio CD
The whole album is a masterpiece; it flows so naturally and so beautifully like a musical narrative. It is so powerful that it creates mental landscapes in my mind which are so visual that they are almost tangible. The melody is so charming yet so agonizingly painful; and this dichotomy is a very true reflection of Egon Schiele and his art works. I would say that the author of the music had a very accurate and piercing insight into the subject matter and delivered an amazing musical interpretation on it. Perhaps this is a little far fetched, but to me, this music is as soul-searching and sensual as a Herman Hesse novel and, also a little bit like that animation AeonFlux, just in terms of how much it forces you to focus on one of your senses. AeonFlux forces you to open your eyes, but Music for Egon Schile forces you to open your ears. And strangely, it also feels as if this very melodious music is giving me a taste and feel of "silence" which is quite paradoxical. The quality of performance and recording are both impeccable. There is not one bit I would change about this CD; it is perfect, it is absolute, it is true to itself. If you work alone at night quite often, this music will keep you awake far better than most techno's such as Prodigy or Chemical Brothers. It is just that intense and potent. Personally this music helps me to focus on my innerself. It takes me into that very private, personal and intimate space inside. It is poetic, lyrical, cerebral and sensual. It is a work of a true genius.
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Format: Audio CD
the rachel's albums are gorgeous. i just wanted to add in a comment on the similarities to other classical composers, which i'm kind of surprised nobody has mentioned, in user comments or in reviews i've read of their stuff. just a random list of music i hear similarities to: philip glass and other minimalist composers; turn-of-the-century impressionist/early modern european folks (ravel, satie, etc - it has a very french/latin/eastern european sound to it); and michael nyman, specifically his music for the piano (don't really know his other work). any other classical music fans out there? i enjoy rachel's music immensely; i just can't help but wonder if it's brilliant or derivative (or perhaps both). (there are times when i hear what i'm sure are exact chord progressions out of some of glass' most devastatingly beautiful works...)
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Format: Audio CD
This album gets a lot of heat for trying to be arty for a non-arty community. Some people say that this is an excuse for indie kids not to listen to real chamber music, but still feel cultured.
This may be true in some cases, unfortunately. But not for me.
As an avid listener and performer of romantic and post-romantic music for over a decade, I enjoy this album almost as much as I enjoy the works of Satie, Ravel or Debussy. This album is perfect for a calm autumn evening all alone, or a walk in a forest. Listen to this album and float along with the music. Music for Egon Schiele gives a deep feeling of peace and relaxation to the listener.
Believe me, classical music aficionado or indie scenester, you'll highly enjoy this album. And if you happen to be an indy fan and you enjoy this record, check out the works of Erik Satie, Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Olivier Messaien, and Bela Bartok. You'll be doing yourself a favour.
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