Author Topic: Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970)  (Read 12442 times)

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Offline chadfeldheimer

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Re: Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970)
« Reply #60 on: October 03, 2016, 03:07:53 AM »
I bought that recording earlier today. I'll certainly let you know once I received it and heard it if Edward doesn't. :)
That would be great - thank you in advance. BTW do you know that Zimmermann was a large influence on Alfred Schnittke?

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970)
« Reply #61 on: October 03, 2016, 06:56:49 AM »
That would be great - thank you in advance. BTW do you know that Zimmermann was a large influence on Alfred Schnittke?

You're welcome. No, I didn't know Zimmermann was an influence on Schnittke, but it wouldn't surprise one bit if he was because of Zimmermann's 'collage' technique heard in a work like Musique pour les soupers du Roi Ubu, which quotes other pieces of music from other composers one after the other.
“It must be beautiful, or it wouldn't be worth the effort.” - Bohuslav Martinů

Offline edward

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Re: Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970)
« Reply #62 on: October 06, 2016, 01:47:14 PM »
That sounds pretty interesting. I'm also thinking about purchasing this disc. What about the performance? Can you recommend the disc in that regard?
I find it perfectly satisfying--not absolutely revelatory in the way that the recent Capriccio recording of Photoptosis is, but still easy to recommend.
"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."
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Offline chadfeldheimer

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Re: Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970)
« Reply #63 on: October 08, 2016, 01:54:08 AM »
I find it perfectly satisfying--not absolutely revelatory in the way that the recent Capriccio recording of Photoptosis is, but still easy to recommend.
Thanks - that makes me curious about the Capriccio recording. I already have two recordings of Photopsis (Zender on CPO, Kontarsky on Col Legno - I prefer the first one), but I'm also very intersted in a good recording of "Stille und Umkehr", which is a very quiet piece and I only have a bad live recording with lots of coughings by the audience.

Offline chadfeldheimer

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Re: Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970)
« Reply #64 on: October 08, 2016, 02:19:10 AM »
You're welcome. No, I didn't know Zimmermann was an influence on Schnittke, but it wouldn't surprise one bit if he was because of Zimmermann's 'collage' technique heard in a work like Musique pour les soupers du Roi Ubu, which quotes other pieces of music from other composers one after the other.
Yes - that is particularly obvious in early Schnittke works like his 1st symphony.

Offline edward

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Re: Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970)
« Reply #65 on: October 10, 2016, 05:36:21 PM »
Thanks - that makes me curious about the Capriccio recording. I already have two recordings of Photopsis (Zender on CPO, Kontarsky on Col Legno - I prefer the first one), but I'm also very intersted in a good recording of "Stille und Umkehr", which is a very quiet piece and I only have a bad live recording with lots of coughings by the audience.
IMO it's not as revelatory as the Photoptosis on that disc, but I found it perfectly satisfactory.
"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

Offline chadfeldheimer

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Re: Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970)
« Reply #66 on: January 14, 2017, 05:09:01 AM »
IMO it's not as revelatory as the Photoptosis on that disc, but I found it perfectly satisfactory.
Speaking of Photoptosis:
Last Wednesday the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburgs fancy new concert hall opened it's doors and for the ceremony among others the aforementioned Zimmermann pieces was given. I was really positively surprised when I heard this piece while following parts of the ceremony on my tv. But for lots of people here in Hamburg the surprise was rather negative it seems. Now there is a wild discussion running with those people taking the stance, the program of the opening ceremony (also containing pieces by Rihm, Messiaen and Liebermann - the Zimmermann however is the biggest bone of contention) would only be a sign, that the building whose construction wasted an admittedly massive amount of tax money, is only build for an elite of old wealthy people. Well I seem to be an exception to this, because I love the Zimmermann piece despite I'm neither old nor wealthy.

Offline CRCulver

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Re: Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970)
« Reply #67 on: January 14, 2017, 08:48:27 AM »
Really weird to hear about concertgoers objecting to Photoptosis on a programme with other modern works on it. It’s been a while since I heard Photoptosis, so I put it on this evening (the recording by the Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks cond. Markus Stenz). It strikes me as very similar in spirit to those pieces of the late 1960s that aimed to be audience-friendly by gradually building pieces out of simpler layers, like Per Nørgård's Modlys, Hans Abrahamsen's early works, or Ligeti's diatonic micropolyphonic pieces that are generally an accepted part of the canon today.

Offline chadfeldheimer

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Re: Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970)
« Reply #68 on: January 14, 2017, 10:13:38 AM »
Really weird to hear about concertgoers objecting to Photoptosis on a programme with other modern works on it. It’s been a while since I heard Photoptosis, so I put it on this evening (the recording by the Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks cond. Markus Stenz). It strikes me as very similar in spirit to those pieces of the late 1960s that aimed to be audience-friendly by gradually building pieces out of simpler layers, like Per Nørgård's Modlys, Hans Abrahamsen's early works, or Ligeti's diatonic micropolyphonic pieces that are generally an accepted part of the canon today.
I have to add, that the programme was kept secret and is seen as a statement what kind of music should fill the building with sound in future, because it was it's opening concert/ceremony. Nevertheless, more conservative concertgoers also had their share with pieces by Brahms, Mendelssohn, Britten, de' Cavaliere, Caccini, Wagner and Beethoven.

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970)
« Reply #69 on: January 14, 2017, 11:58:00 AM »


Strange that people object more to Zimmermann than Dutilleux, but hey... I suppose it speaks to the effectiveness of the Zimmermann, which is so very, very black... and so chills you to the bone... whereas you can easily let the Dutilleux, though more modernist in its language, dribble off your back.

I especially loved the Liebermann, meanwhile... such rhythm, such fun. My impression from talking to a few non-critic patrons (2nd night) was, that they were challenged but, because of the occasion, willing to go along with it to some degree.

Apropos, almost:

Elbphilharmonie
Review: Hamburg Elbphilharmonie Opening And G.F.Haas World Premiere




Offline chadfeldheimer

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Re: Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970)
« Reply #70 on: January 15, 2017, 02:33:32 AM »

Strange that people object more to Zimmermann than Dutilleux, but hey... I suppose it speaks to the effectiveness of the Zimmermann, which is so very, very black... and so chills you to the bone... whereas you can easily let the Dutilleux, though more modernist in its language, dribble off your back.
Oh I forgot to mention the Dutilleux. For me however the piece seemed rather accessible, just like Dutilleux per se seems to me to be the most accessible of the French modernists, because he despite the modernist tonality retained strongest ties to the Ravel and Debussy (of course there's nothing wrong with that - I love Dutilleux). Thus and also because the scheduled Messiaen and Rihm pieces were comparatively tame, I can understand that the Zimmermann is critisized the most, even if it is not the most radical piece existing. Also there is a lot happening in this piece, that cannot all be resolved, if you followed the concert not in the concert hall but in front of your TV. In the latter case the piece seems rather pappy. Then there is the bleakness you already mentioned ...
Quote
I especially loved the Liebermann, meanwhile... such rhythm, such fun. My impression from talking to a few non-critic patrons (2nd night) was, that they were challenged but, because of the occasion, willing to go along with it to some degree.
Agreed - great piece and it was new to me. Looking out for a good recording.

Quote
Apropos, almost:

Elbphilharmonie
Review: Hamburg Elbphilharmonie Opening And G.F.Haas World Premiere




Would love to see that one. Unfortunately it is already sold out, like most concerts in the Elbphilharmonie for the next 6 month.

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Re: Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970) REQUIEM SACD 5.1 ???????
« Reply #71 on: February 24, 2017, 04:49:55 PM »
The 'Requiem...' is such a piece! I can't stand recitation, but here I have no problem. I just get chills hearing this. I have the Cybele 5.1, but have not heard the surround yet. Has anyone?

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970)
« Reply #72 on: February 25, 2017, 01:03:45 AM »
The 'Requiem...' is such a piece! I can't stand recitation, but here I have no problem. I just get chills hearing this. I have the Cybele 5.1, but have not heard the surround yet. Has anyone?

I was first thinking that you were talking about Ecclesiastical Action, because that, too, is a friggin amazing, chilling piece, indeed... and has recitation as an essential element:

Ich wandte mich und sah an alles Unrecht, das geschah unter der Sonne (“I turned and beheld all the injustice perpetrated under the sun” [Ecclesiastes 4:1, via Luther]) (review of Salzburg Festival performance: http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/08/notes-from-2012-salzburg-festival-6.html)

But you are presumably referring to the 'requiem für einen jungen dichter'. Didn't know the work -- but will change that now!

Offline Ainsi la nuit

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Re: Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970)
« Reply #73 on: September 14, 2018, 06:52:11 AM »
I'm at the Helsinki Music Centre, about to hear the Vokalsinfonie in 10 minutes - that is, the piece Zimmermann constructed out of material derived from Die Soldaten. Hannu Lintu conducting the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, with Anu Komsi, Jeni Packalen, Hilary Summers, Juha Uusitalo, Peter Tantsis and Ville Rusanen Singing. James Sherlock acts as the conductor's assistant.

It's obviously not quite the real deal, but I'm still so excited about this. This is the first Finnish performance of any music related to this opera, so it feels very important to be here. The piece will also be recorded!

The unbelivable prelude will burst out into the open soon enough... Woah!

Offline 2dogs

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Re: Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970)
« Reply #74 on: September 14, 2018, 07:22:37 AM »
I'm at the Helsinki Music Centre, about to hear the Vokalsinfonie in 10 minutes - that is, the piece Zimmermann constructed out of material derived from Die Soldaten. Hannu Lintu conducting the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, with Anu Komsi, Jeni Packalen, Hilary Summers, Juha Uusitalo, Peter Tantsis and Ville Rusanen Singing. James Sherlock acts as the conductor's assistant.

It's obviously not quite the real deal, but I'm still so excited about this. This is the first Finnish performance of any music related to this opera, so it feels very important to be here. The piece will also be recorded!

The unbelivable prelude will burst out into the open soon enough... Woah!

Oh that sounds like fun 8). I know very little about things classical but got the download from the Avant Garde Project a week or two ago, quite enjoyed it and will definitely listen to it again.

Offline ritter

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Re: Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970)
« Reply #75 on: September 14, 2018, 07:30:20 AM »
I'm at the Helsinki Music Centre, about to hear the Vokalsinfonie in 10 minutes - that is, the piece Zimmermann constructed out of material derived from Die Soldaten. Hannu Lintu conducting the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, with Anu Komsi, Jeni Packalen, Hilary Summers, Juha Uusitalo, Peter Tantsis and Ville Rusanen Singing. James Sherlock acts as the conductor's assistant.

It's obviously not quite the real deal, but I'm still so excited about this. This is the first Finnish performance of any music related to this opera, so it feels very important to be here. The piece will also be recorded!

The unbelivable prelude will burst out into the open soon enough... Woah!
That looks very appealing, Ainsi! I don’t know the Vokalsinfonie (has it ever been commercially recorded?), but did see the whole opera some months ago, and was really impressed (it makes a much stronger impact seen live than on record). These were my reactions at the time:

Well, I’ve just arrived home after seeing Die Soldaten in the Teatro Real, and am overwhelmed. I’ve generally been ambivalent about Bernd-Alois Zimmerman, but after tonight, I am convinced Die Soldaten is an operatic masterpiece, and contains some extraordinary music (both in the huge climatic scenes—the prelude, the apocalyptic finale—and in the more intimate, nocturnal moments). The spate of recent, major productions of this opera (the Ruhrtriennale one that travelled to New York and our fellow GMGer Brewski mentioned, the coproduction between Salzburg and La Scala, the one in Munich under Kirill Petrenko, and this one—which has also been given in Zurich and Berlin), is a clear sign that Die Soldaten’s time “has come”  ;), and that the work is receiving the appreciation it deserves.  :)

Calixto Bieito’s staging was imposing (the huge orchestra was onstage—on a scaffold-like structure, and dressed in army fatigues—while the platform that covered the pit was where most of the action was enacted). Typical Bieito, with high doses of violence and explicit sex, very much in line (and fittingly so) with his staging of Wozzeck some years ago—although in this occasion his trademark nudity was absent. The weak point of the production was the use of a single set (the aforementioned  scaffolding) for a work with so many scenes (some of them simultaneous), which could lead—even those familiar with the plot—to confusion. Pablo Heras-Casado led a taut and vigorous performance (it’s uncanny how this man’s conducting gestures remind me of those of his teacher Pierre Boulez :o). The cast was uniformly strong, with Susanne Elmark outstanding—vocally and theatrically—as Marie. It was a pleasure to see two veterans like Hanna Schwarz (whom I had seen as Fricka in the “Jahrhundertring” in Bayreuth almost 39 years ago now!) and Iris Vermilion onstage.



A great, great evening at the opera... :)

Enjoy the concert! (and I’d love to hear your impressions of it).
Ritter
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Offline Ainsi la nuit

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Re: Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970)
« Reply #76 on: September 14, 2018, 09:21:52 AM »
I'm happy to announce that the performance was a resounding success! Some of the most insane vocal acrobatics I've ever seen in my life. Anu Komsi in particular made my jaw drop - not surprisingly though, as I know many amazing recordings by her, including Unsuk Chin's Akrostichon-Wortspiel.

The piece is grim, bleak and terrifyingly complex. But at the same time: endlessly interesting, thoroughly enjoyable and absolutely essential.

That looks very appealing, Ainsi! I don’t know the Vokalsinfonie (has it ever been commercially recorded?),

I think the upcoming recording will indeed be the first commercial recording! Make sure to check it out and support the orchestra in their brave effort to champion this music.

Offline ritter

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Re: Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970)
« Reply #77 on: September 14, 2018, 10:27:28 AM »
I'm happy to announce that the performance was a resounding success! Some of the most insane vocal acrobatics I've ever seen in my life. Anu Komsi in particular made my jaw drop - not surprisingly though, as I know many amazing recordings by her, including Unsuk Chin's Akrostichon-Wortspiel.

The piece is grim, bleak and terrifyingly complex. But at the same time: endlessly interesting, thoroughly enjoyable and absolutely essential.

I think the upcoming recording will indeed be the first commercial recording! Make sure to check it out and support the orchestra in their brave effort to champion this music.
Thanks for the comments, and great you enjoyed the piece. I’ll certainly keep an eye out for the upcoming recording.

Ritter
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