Encouraged by Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Brahms, Kirchner (1823-1903) is recognised as one of the most original composers for piano among the German Romantics. The "Five Sonatinas” were written in Leipzig, where he worked as a piano teacher and composer from 1876-1883. They are suited to advanced players, and require flexible (though not virtuoso) technique and various different kinds of touch. The Sonatinas evoke a wealth of changing mood, and forgo to a large extent the runs, broken chords and stereotypical accompanying figures which elsewhere characterise the sonatina form. In their place there are independent middle parts, rhythmical intricacies and adventurous harmonies.
Other publications to mark the 100th anniversary of Kirchner’s death: Preludes Op. 9 (ED 9017), Neue Albumblätter Op. 49 (ED 9024), Spielsachen Op. 35 (ED 6876).