Click to hear a .WAV sample Click to hear 00/061F

PLATE LUNCH/Individuelle Mythologie catalog #: IM 001

CONRAD SCHNITZLER - The Piano Works, Vol.1 (CD) / released December 1997



1: 00/061F 5:51

2: 00/070F 6:22

3: 00/038G 6:08

4: 00/054E 5:24

5: 00/035A 3:39

6: 00/061G 5:29

7: 00/065J 2:25

8: 00/022F 2:42

9: 00/035B 4:54

10: 00/070E 6:18

11: 00/087A 11:21

Total running time: 60:55



This is the first release on the Plate Lunch sub-label "Individuelle Mythologie". If "IM" means, to create one's own history, in which every single story, each step are part and expression of life-long concept, then the first release (on "IM", shows Schnitzler) as monomanic, mythomanic living artwork in total is the right step. What is unusual about this release is the 'Piano-only' aspect, the limitation to the 88 keys of an electric piano. Such a limitation opens the whole richness of expressive handwork and body dynamics, as the piano is the perfect prosthesis of the monomaniac. Schnitzler uses this for a virtuoso performance and with a special love for "ubermenschliche" sound buildings, that remind one of Conlon Nancarrow's trips on the player-piano or Ligeti's late piano compositions.

from: "BAD ALCHEMY", #31, Germany, 2/98---> Review by: Rigo Dittmann


With Conrad Schnitzler's new label PLATE LUNCH committed to righting the wrong of critical neglect done to this German electronics pioneer, the legendary status of his music is presently subjected to a level of scrutiny amounting to a show trial. "The Piano Works" is a compelling set. It sounds acoustic, but it's composed using mechanical aids like piano discs and computer scoring. Initially stiff figures pattern themselves through repetition and minor variation into alternate lurching and halting rondos. Imagine Conlon Nancarrow scoring Captain Beefheart for player piano to get an inkling of its banded magic.

from: "THE WIRE" #170, UK , April 1998 ---> Reviewed by Biba Kopf


Dense and percussive- Schnitzler's approach to the piano is as inventive as his approach to synths, sequencers, and drum machines as demonstrated over the last 30 years- meaning this is not dry or stark piano explorations ala Cowell or Cage, nor is it pretty New Age doodling. The second track is quite stunning in a jazz-thru-Bartok mode, but that description doesn't quite capture the playful mania or (multitracked? sped up?) streams of piano lines that build up to a very melodic climax. For those of us steeped in the pop culture / rock side of things, this could be mistaken for the piano parts of the Magma-influenced Univers Zero offshoot Present, although I can't really compete with Biba Kopf's description as, "Conlon Nancarrow scoring Captain Beefheart for player piano". The key, however, might be "melody"- you can't help being impressed by Schnitzler's ability to sneak user-friendly melodies at the oddest points. Easy to listen to indeed, but your interest in this might depend on your interest in piano music. A piano, no matter how you slice and dice it, especially if you don't prepare it, is still a piano.

from: "ANGBASE" #3, Fall 1998 ---> Reviewed by Carlos M. Pozo



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