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Zimmermann - Canto di Speranza
Three key figures from ECM’s contemporary music roster – Heinz Holliger, Thomas Zehetmair, and Thomas Demenga – team up for an exceptional recording of three works by one of the leading German post-war composers Bernd Alois Zimmermann. Zimmermann, almost half a generation older than the serialists such as Boulez and Stockhausen, integrated state-of-the-art compositional methods in his writing while constantly following his own independent, highly expressive musical language. His compositions ranged from orchestral works and ballets to solo sonatas (ECM has recorded all three on 449 9042), electronic pieces and Die Soldaten (The Soldiers), probably the most important German-language opera since Berg.
The rhythmically energetic and jazz-inspired Konzert für Violine und Orchester (1950), which is partially based on twelve-tone models and cast in three movements, was soon hailed as a model for a post-war solo concerto, while Canto di Speranza (Song of Hope) (1953/57), a one-movement cello concerto with a sensuous quality, emphasizes monologue and introvert meditation. Ich wandte mich und sah an alles Unrecht, das geschah unter der Sonne on the other hand is Zimmermann’s last work, finished only five days before he committed suicide in August 1970. Labelled by the composer as an “ecclesiastical action”, the 35-minute oratorio on biblical verse and the famous parable "The Grand Inquisitor" from Dostoevsky’s “Brothers Karamazov” is a deeply pessimistic “performance art” piece - of the kind that flourished in Germany’s ‘Fluxus’ scene around the time it was written - involving recitation, singing, and both gestural and acrobatic action. Towards the end the two speakers are called upon to stamp on the floor and scream at the top of their lungs!
“The synthesis of Bartók, Schoenberg and Stravinsky in the sparky Violin Concerto of 1950, played with expressive intelligence by Thomas Zehetmair, seems light years away from the deep pessimism of Zimmermann's final work, the 'ecclesiastical action' Ich wandte mich und sah an alles Unrecht, das geschah unter der Sonne (So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun)... the 1957 'cantata' for cello and orchestra, Canto di Speranza. ...has the focus and economy that Zimmermann's later music sometimes lost; Thomas Demenga's performance of the solo part maintains that purity even under the greatest pressure.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2009 *****
“…the two concertos are essential. The 1950 Violin Concerto is essentially Bartókian, although the long blues-based slow movement hints at Zimmermann's developing polystylistic tendencies: Canto di speranza for cello and orchestra, written only two years later, is hardcore serialism - but his questioning persona shines through as he shakes the system.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2009
Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.
These four compositions from the 1950s deliberately link the heterogeneous, the non-simultaneous. The result of this combination, presented by Lucas Fels and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Peter Hirsch, is an entirely inspired bridging of tradition and awakening, light and serious music, form and ecstasy.
"Märchensuite": Live Recording of the World Première in January 2001
"Alagoana. Caprichos Brasileiros": First Recording
This production received the quarterly German Record Critics' Award and, in 2003, the prize "Coup de Cœur Musique Contemporaine“ of the Académie Charles Cros.
Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days.