Czech composer Erwin Schulhoff assimilated the influence of jazz with genuinely distinctive results. The Fünf Pittoresken absorb both Dada and Scott Joplin whilst more classicist influences, such as Ravel, suffuse the Second Piano Sonata. Esquisses de Jazz (1927) is perhaps his most outstanding jazz-influenced piece—a perfect synthesis of dance rhythms, wit and irony.
During his short life Erwin Schulhoff absorbed a wide range of musical styles. The jazz-inspired Partita includes witty takes on the tango, foxtrot and shimmy. Further synthesis comes in the Suite No 3, written for the left hand alone, which adapts folk and jazz influences in a bracingly novel way, while the Variations and Fugue reveals indebtedness to Debussy, with whom Schulhoff studied.
Viktor Ullmann has been featured mostly in collections of compositions from the Nazis' "model" concentration camp at Terezin (Theresienstadt), where Jews were permitted some forms of artistic expression and where he wrote the last three of the seven sonatas heard here. But it is becoming clear that Ullmann's is a distinctive voice that deserves to be treated individually.
With a world-beating roster of exclusive opera singers including Luciano Pavarotti, Cecilia Bartoli, Renee Fleming and Joan Sutherland, Decca Classics has always invested infinite energy and enormous care on its productions, blending the greatest casts with experienced opera orchestras and great conductors. The result of this mix of world-beating artists, unrivalled technical skill and know-how is an opera catalogue of matchless artistry and superb sound, garlanded with award around the world.