Author Topic: Heinz Holliger,... Murderer!!  (Read 9242 times)

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snyprrr

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Heinz Holliger,... Murderer!!
« on: August 05, 2010, 09:14:29 AM »
Yes, it's true, HH is becoming one of my favo(rite) (de)Composers. The Most Famous Oboist in Historrry is also a profoundly disturbing Avant Garde Composer, whose claim to fame is writing such pieces as to inflict harm upon the executants, haha! :o

HH's earliest works (early '60s), some of which are on the ECM disc, Leider ohne Worde, begin in the blackest depths of the post-BAZimmermann/WW2/ExpressionistSerialist Germany (oy!). I have a feeling many of you have this disc.

By the mid-'60s, represented by a DG disc of Der Magische Tanzer/Seibengesang (both for everything-plus-kitchensink), he has, apparently (haven't heard them yet), stretched the front flank as far as was possible at the time. Needless to say, Holliger is one of those ten-pages-of-explanation-per-beat type Composers,... which makes me wonder,... if all other German Composers turn to Holderlin, who is it exactly to whom Stockhausen..., mmm,... nevermind ::)

By the late-'60s, HH hit upon the idea that appears to be his MO (which, I'll be honest, liner notes explain a lot better than I), the Death of Music.

wow, that's scary! :o

Anyhow, the pieces during this period (ca. 1967-74), the orchestral Pneuma and Atembogen, the choral Psalm and Dona Nobis Pacem, HH's own solo oboe piece, and the String Quartet (1973), HH set about to document the Exhaustion of Expression, for lack of a better term.

The SQ may be my single most favorite thing not to listen to. One may think it to be a lost Xenakis work from his most fertile period, such is the excruciating level of sonic torture being performed, except that, in HH, the Music actually Dies in a Human way, something generally missing in X's work. The SQ begins with the sounds of snapping, crackling cinders, and ends, 26mins later, with the players and instruments ending up broken and exhausted and unable to continue. Trust me, the more words I use, the worse you'll think it is, so, I'll shut up.



Many Composers had periods of Silence in the '70s, and HH turned to Bec kett, producing the Operas, Come and Go, Not I and What Were. I have not as yet braved this terrain,... brrr, chills just thinking about the pretentiousness! :-*

From the '80s onwards, ECM has been berry berry good to HH, producing most all that he perhaps could wish for, including the Scardinelli-Zyklus (which I am listening to now, and prompted this Thread), his first "real" Opera, Schneewittchen (Snow-White), the song cycles Beisheit(sic)/Alb Cher(sic), his Violin Concerto "Hommage a Louis Soutter", and various bits here and there.

There is also a Great Quintet for Piano and Wind on Philips, wshich plays upon the Mozart template. And, I have read that the Zehetmair Quartet have premiered his SQ 2, which, hopefully, will make it's way onto cd soon.

I guess I just want to remind everyone of HH's Renaissance Qualities, as fully rounded, perhaps, as opposed to others who maybe get a lot more attention. HH appears to be nobody's fool when it comes to the Impenetrable.

From the Liner Notes (S-Z):

...enigmatic concepts...highly complex, the bewilderingly arcane, the marginal and the fractured...the arcane and the labyrinthine...frozen in a pure ivory tower of congealment...

and so on. ;D

Have a Nice Day 8)


Offline springrite

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Re: Heinz Holliger,... Murderer!!
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2010, 09:37:29 AM »
What do you think of his 'Gesange der Fruhe' ?
Do what I must do, and let what must happen happen.

Offline Brian

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Re: Heinz Holliger,... Murderer!!
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2010, 09:44:11 AM »
The SQ may be my single most favorite thing not to listen to.

And that may be one of the funniest sentences ever written on GMG!  8)

Offline edward

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Re: Heinz Holliger,... Murderer!!
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2010, 10:28:42 AM »
And that may be one of the funniest sentences ever written on GMG!  8)
Actually, I understand what snyprr's on at here. It's almost a deliberately unpleasant soundworld (eat your heart out Helmut Lachenmann), gripping but not something one enjoys listening to. Yet I've found it does linger in the mind long after.

Of course, Holliger's come a long way as a composer--comparing it to, say, the Violin Concerto shows the enfant terrible becoming an elder statesman.
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music

snyprrr

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Re: Heinz Holliger,... Murderer!!
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2010, 11:00:40 AM »
What do you think of his 'Gesange der Fruhe' ?

Is that a new work from 1987, or part of the Zyklus? Recording? I'm still coming to grips with the Jahreseiten.

snyprrr

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Re: Heinz Holliger,... Murderer!!
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2010, 11:04:42 AM »
Actually, I understand what snyprr's on at here. It's almost a deliberately unpleasant soundworld (eat your heart out Helmut Lachenmann), gripping but not something one enjoys listening to. Yet I've found it does linger in the mind long after.

Of course, Holliger's come a long way as a composer--comparing it to, say, the Violin Concerto shows the enfant terrible becoming an elder statesman.

I knew the erudite might come out of the woodwork! I do feel that HH deserves the most profuse praise. And yes, his maturation was also the point! Thanks!

And yes, I did mean Lachenmann & Sciarrino, et al. Plus, HH gets extra points for giving Boulez's comb-over a run for it's money! :P

Offline springrite

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Re: Heinz Holliger,... Murderer!!
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2010, 11:05:06 AM »
Is that a new work from 1987, or part of the Zyklus? Recording? I'm still coming to grips with the Jahreseiten.

I believe so. It is of course based on Schumann.
Do what I must do, and let what must happen happen.

snyprrr

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Re: Heinz Holliger,... Murderer!!
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2010, 07:53:10 PM »
I believe so. It is of course based on Schumann.

Oh, it's on that new Romancendres(?) cd! So, does everything sound,...uh,...normal :o?? ???

snyprrr

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Re: Heinz Holliger: Scardinelli-Zyklus
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2010, 08:10:50 PM »
HH's Scardinelli-Zyklus reminds me of one of those Kairos/Sciarrino Operas, but, with more actual sound per $$$. Written between 1975 and 1991, it is a set of 22 pieces, divided between choral pieces, chamber orchestra pieces, mixed pieces, and,... a flute solo!

I am wondering how this compares with Ferneyhough's big piece (the Opera?).

HH has, in some of the instrumental pieces, seized upon quite a grey and bleak Expressionism, so soft in it's Negation,... one senses the factories, the industrialism, the smoke and death of the Modern Age, but all that is left is the residue, the soft, radioactive clouds that puncture a post-Apocalyptic World. In a way, it is HH's "The Wall" (yes, Pink Floyd!). Ha, that's funny, but, doesn't that seem to be the prevailing feeling in the '80s?

In the last choral piece, everyone must sing in their "straw" bass (help, someone), which, I think, means they grovel, which is what they do, and it's pretty out there. Somewhere else they have to sing whilst breathing in! And, it's all done with such a deadly seriousness as to make Schnittke roll over,... and it works because it's so totally seriously that it cannot possibly be bothered with itself, and so, HH's beautiful ennui drifts by aimlessly in its vain sacrifice.

Offline False_Dmitry

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Re: Heinz Holliger,... Murderer!!
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2010, 09:42:28 PM »
Many Composers had periods of Silence in the '70s, and HH turned to Bec kett, producing the Operas, Come and Go, Not I and What Were. I have not as yet braved this terrain,... brrr, chills just thinking about the pretentiousness! :-*

What a very extraordinary thing to say.

I'm sure you feel better now.
____________________________________________________

"Of all the NOISES known to Man, OPERA is the most expensive" - Moliere

Offline petrarch

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Re: Heinz Holliger,... Murderer!!
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2011, 02:36:12 AM »
Scardanelli-Zyklus

Have been listening to this repeatedly today, after finding a copy of it on the clearance bin for half the price last week. It is not the ECM release, but the older 3-CD Atelier Schola Cantorum 8 on Cadenza. This is absolutely fantastic music; exquisitely crafted and performed. I had some hesitation on getting this since the vocal nature of the work is prominently mentioned in the cover and I don't usually like music for or with voices. But this has got me mesmerized. Simply wonderful.
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snyprrr

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Re: Heinz Holliger,... Murderer!!
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2011, 07:17:49 AM »
Have been listening to this repeatedly today, after finding a copy of it on the clearance bin for half the price last week. It is not the ECM release, but the older 3-CD Atelier Schola Cantorum 8 on Cadenza. This is absolutely fantastic music; exquisitely crafted and performed. I had some hesitation on getting this since the vocal nature of the work is prominently mentioned in the cover and I don't usually like music for or with voices. But this has got me mesmerized. Simply wonderful.

Very ennui, don't you think? It's perfect for this foggy, snowy day. I like the Eisblummen. And the flute solo is pretty strange.

Offline some guy

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Re: Heinz Holliger: Scardinelli-Zyklus
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2011, 10:34:04 AM »
HH has, in some of the instrumental pieces, seized upon quite a grey and bleak Expressionism, so soft in it's Negation,... one senses the factories, the industrialism, the smoke and death of the Modern Age, but all that is left is the residue, the soft, radioactive clouds that puncture a post-Apocalyptic World.
And here's quite a red and voluptuous Impressionism! It is certainly far from descriptive.

In a way, it is HH's "The Wall" (yes, Pink Floyd!). Ha, that's funny, but, doesn't that seem to be the prevailing feeling in the '80s?
Um, no?

...and so, HH's beautiful ennui drifts by aimlessly in its vain sacrifice.
You've missed your calling, snyprrr. You should have been writing ornate and glittering fantasy fiction. Too bad Clark Ashton Smith got there before you!

As for edward's "almost ... deliberately unpleasant soundworld," surely you must realize that THAT's a very individual and impressionistic evaluation, too? I find the soundworlds of Holliger and Lachenmann to be very pleasant indeed. Different folks, eh? (I also find them to be very different. And Helmut has nothing to eat his heart out about.)

Offline petrarch

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Re: Heinz Holliger,... Murderer!!
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2011, 02:22:03 AM »
Very ennui, don't you think? It's perfect for this foggy, snowy day. I like the Eisblummen. And the flute solo is pretty strange.

I don't see Eisblumen on this. Perhaps it is part of the revised version that was released on ECM?

Yes, the flute piece t(air)e is quite good. Reminds me of shakuhachi music.
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snyprrr

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Re: Heinz Holliger,... Murderer!!
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2011, 11:26:31 AM »
I don't see Eisblumen on this. Perhaps it is part of the revised version that was released on ECM?

Yes, the flute piece t(air)e is quite good. Reminds me of shakuhachi music.

Are you able to upload the cover for us?

Offline petrarch

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Re: Heinz Holliger,... Murderer!!
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2011, 04:55:10 PM »
Are you able to upload the cover for us?


//p
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The hi-fi system: Esoteric X-03SE -> Pathos Logos -> Analysis Audio Amphitryon.
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snyprrr

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Re: Heinz Holliger,... Murderer!!
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2011, 07:59:49 AM »
I noticed a bunch of newish ECM releases in their continuing partnership with Holliger. So far, this is what I've gathered:

1) Scardinelli Cycle
2) Snow White
3) Lieder ohne Worte
4) Romancendres*** (w/C. Schumann; cello & piano)
5) Ennuchlin*** (various forces)
6) 'Partita'*** (w/Schumann; piano)
7) 'Chaconne' (Demenga 'Sacher' set)
8) 'Duo' (w/Bach)
9) Besheit/Alb-Cher
10) Violin Concerto

That's quite a list going. Has anyone heard the *** cds? That new one, 'Ennuchlin', has some interesting samples.

Offline Superhorn

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Re: Heinz Holliger,... Murderer!!
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2011, 09:01:39 AM »
   Is the title of that piece " Lieder ohne worte " (songs without words as in Mendelssohn's piano pieces) or  "Leider ohne worte
(unfortunately without words )?  If you rearrange the e and i  in German you get  either lieder (songs) or leider , the word
unfortunately .  It''s pronounced lieder, as in leader  , or leider  (lie-der as in the English verb to lie . 
I wonder if  Holliger was making a pun there .

snyprrr

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Re: Heinz Holliger,... Murderer!!
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2011, 12:25:54 PM »
   Is the title of that piece " Lieder ohne worte " (songs without words as in Mendelssohn's piano pieces) or  "Leider ohne worte
(unfortunately without words )?  If you rearrange the e and i  in German you get  either lieder (songs) or leider , the word
unfortunately .  It''s pronounced lieder, as in leader  , or leider  (lie-der as in the English verb to lie . 
I wonder if  Holliger was making a pun there .

This is funny. I'm suuure someone avant of the last forty years must have noticed this? c'mon ;)

leider ohne hosen! :o

snyprrr

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Re: Heinz Holliger,... Murderer!!
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2011, 12:27:35 PM »
   Is the title of that piece " Lieder ohne worte " (songs without words as in Mendelssohn's piano pieces) or  "Leider ohne worte
(unfortunately without words )?  If you rearrange the e and i  in German you get  either lieder (songs) or leider , the word
unfortunately .  It''s pronounced lieder, as in leader  , or leider  (lie-der as in the English verb to lie . 
I wonder if  Holliger was making a pun there .

lieder,... shucks :(,... however, now WE are free to use the Title,... I GOT DIBS!! :P :-*