Hanns Eisler CD Booklet - Works for Piano

Hanns Eisler (1898-1962) was born in Leipzig and went to school in Vienna. After two years’ service in the imperial army during the First World War, he became a composition student of Arnold Schoenberg in 1919. In Schoenberg he found a teacher who had the reputation of being a notorious radical, but did not teach his pupils to compose in the “modern” manner; instead, the works of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms were objects of analysis and initially also had to serve as models for their own compositions. Eisler’s apprenticeship ended in 1923 with a letter of recommendation from Schoenberg to Emil Hertzka, the director of the Vienna Universal Edition: “Dear Doctor, the bearer of this letter is my former pupil Hanns Eisler. He will try to arouse your interest in his Piano Sonata (Op. 1). I naturally do not wish to advise you in the matter, since by having umpteen times recommended the works of Webern and Berg, my lack of judgement and instinct has probably been established for all time.” The young Theodor W. Adorno was among the enthusiastic reviewers when Eisler’s first compositions were published shortly afterwards: The Piano Pieces (Op. 3) which have recently appeared give occasion to refer with every emphasis to the author, who is the real representative of the young generation of Schoenberg’s pupils and is one of the most talented young composers there is.”