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Classical - Released February 8, 2019 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Unlike usual opera sequences, the ones excerpted from Zimmerman’s Die Soldaten (‘The Soldiers’) which he named Vokal-Sinfonie (Vocal Symphony) were created before the opera as proof that the music was playable. Indeed, its final score posed quite the challenge for the singers, the orchestra, the theatres and for the audience: with sixteen singing roles, around ten spoken roles, an orchestra of about one hundred musicians, crazy percussion instruments, film projectors, tape recordings and extra-musical sound effects – it’s enough to make any opera house fear for their budget! Not to mention the fact that the audience was also subject to the strict dodecaphonic system and some of the opera scenes actually overlapped. Zimmermann initially wanted the piece to be performed on twelve different stages that surrounded the audience who would be sitting on swivelling chairs and would rotate themselves accordingly. However, the idea was rejected by the theatre where the first performance was to take place and the composer finally abandoned the idea and remodelled his work to render it – almost – performable. Here, you can listen to Vokal-Sinfonie from 1963 which has some noticeable similarities with Berg’s Wozzeck, particularly in the raw and deeply moving lyricism of the vocal material. The Sinfonie is followed by the 1968 Photoptosis for full orchestra, one of the composer’s last two works before he died two years later after having suffered from severe depression. The score is both dark and light at the same time and is a work of sheer orchestral genius. The album opens with the 1950 Violin Concerto, which despite its supposedly classic form (Sonata-Fantasia-Rondo) explores the world of modernism in an intense and beautifully dark lyricism. © SM/Qobuz

Classical - Released June 5, 2020 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet
It was in the 1960s, with the opera Die Soldaten and his Requiem für einen jungen Dichter, that Bernd Alois Zimmermann became known as one of the leading composers of the German post-war generation. These and other works from the period were examples of what the composer himself called musical pluralism – a highly individual collage-like technique involving quotations and superimposed metres, rhythms and time levels. The works on the present recording – Zimmermann’s complete production for solo piano - predate this, however. Composed over a period of only 17 years, they trace a journey which begins in a neo-classicism à la Hindemith – as radical an idiom as a young student at the Cologne University for Music could adopt during the Nazi regime. After serving in the war, Zimmermann worked as a freelance composer for the radio, theatre and television, and this has left a trace in both Extemporale and Capriccio, which weaves together seven traditional children’s songs. In Enchiridion II we begin to clearly hear the influence of Schoenbergian twelve-tone technique, which a few years later, in Konfigurationen, has blossomed into serialism, with its subtle gradations of dynamics, articulation and rhythm. Commemorating the 50th anniversary of Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s death in 1970, the acclaimed Spanish pianist Eduardo Fernández makes his first appearance on BIS Records, showing us little known aspects of the composer. © BIS Records

Classical - Released June 10, 2016 | Wergo


Solo Piano - Released January 14, 2016 | NEOS Music

Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica

Chamber Music - Released October 21, 2011 | Wergo


Classical - Released November 14, 2008 | ECM New Series

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - 4F de Télérama

Classical - Released July 1, 1993 | Decca Music Group Ltd.


Chamber Music - Released October 21, 2011 | Wergo


Classical - Released January 1, 2007 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)


Classical - Released January 1, 1997 | col legno


Classical - Released July 1, 2013 | CPO


Opera - Released January 1, 1991 | Warner Classics


Classical - Released May 1, 2005 | Aulos MusiKado