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Wasserklavier (Water Piano) by Italian composer Luciano Berio (1925-2003) is the first of six short pieces written between 1965 and 1990, collected for publication as 6 Encores. Three of the other pieces are titled Erdenklavier (Earth Piano), Luftklavier (Air Piano), and Feuerklavier (Fire Piano). Water, as primordial element, selected from the four.
The composer's indications at the beginning of the score are compelling. Teneramente e lontano (gently as from a distance), sempre legatissimo (always very legato), ppp sempre e lontano (always very softly and from a distance). The musical idiom is at once completely modern, yet nostalgic – echoing the intimacy of Brahms’ final piano works.