Five brief pieces, easy to play and count.
Each begins with a truncated melodic dirge-like opening, a little like the mood Bartok marked mesto. Aphorism 2 is the exception; it opens with a scherzo-like staccato motifâ€”distant cousin of Regerâ€™s demonic dancesâ€”and then turns to the...
dirge-like melody in measure 7. These slow, sad, half-melodies, muffled by dissonances and denied any resolution, are like the ruined memories of any number of modernist lento and adagio movements, from Prokofiev, Shostakovich, and others.
Each of the Aphorismen then proceeds to lose control, bursting into a loud, fast passage that usually involves rapidly accelerating note values and pitches, culminating in note clusters, repeated notes, or a single high fortissimo.
Beautiful melodies in nos. 1, 3, and 5, and the occasional felicitous rhythmic explosion, make the pieces worthwhile.