Author Topic: Rihm's Wolf Gang  (Read 42042 times)

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Offline mjwal

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Re: Rihm's Wolf Gang
« Reply #40 on: July 03, 2010, 07:08:02 AM »
I am ambivalent about Rihm, which says more about me than his music. He is certainly a very compelling man, personally - I've heard him talk on several occasions. I attended a "Happy New Ears" talk/concert at which he was present and then found the music very involving - one of his things connected with Artaud's Théatre de Séraphin and Die Eroberung von Mexico, this latter "Musiktheater" then being performed several times at the Frankfurt Opera. I loved it and even more (without the rather confusing production) the CPO recording of the work's first performance in Hamburg conducted by Metzmacher: real music theatre for the ears. I have not yet been able to achieve the plateau phase with Jagden und Formen, but am going to try again soon. Fremde Szenen, I agree, is marvellous, a sort of evocation of romantic music without any PoMo quotation. I also very much enjoyed my one experience of Jakob Lenz, the chamber opera which introduced me to his music. In fact in general, as with Henze, I am more affected by his music when it has a literary kernel or nimbus. This applies too to his Deus Passus, his St.Luke passion (Hänssler) - very affectingly performed, almost traditional in expression at times, it ends with the best Celan setting I know, "Tenebrae" - remarkable and unsettling, no happy ending here. I was present at the first performance of his 8th quartet by the Arditti (who also did a rather clinical version of the Bartók 4th quartet, I remember), but I got little joy of its almost unremitting rush of violent string figurations, like a waterfalll of acid rain which you cannot escape. (This is my recall of it - I must try and listen again some time. I've heard a couple of the earlier ones on disc but was not very enthusiastic.) But my second hearing of his music was his stunning Wölffli-Lieder for baritone and orchestra (conducted by Behlohlávek), which was on vol.10 of Deutscher Musikrat's survey of music of the Federal Republic of Germany - on LP (deutsche Harmonia Mundi), before it moved to RCA CD covering East German music too; unavailable now, of course. However, I see there is a very convenient Col Legno CD containing this work (Salter/Leningrad PO/Dmitriev, Klavierstück No.7(Wambach) , Frau/Stimme for soprano and orchestra(Gielen) and In-Schrift for orchestra (Zender), all at medium price, so nobody interested in an introduction to his work need hesitate - I am certainly going to acquire this myself. I must nevertheless recommend the excellent CPO CD containing only Lieder; Hölderlin-Fragmente, Neue Alexanderlieder, Vier Gedichte aus Atemwende von Paul Celan and the piano version of the Wölffli-Liederbuch (Salter/Wambach). These are pretty amazing works and I have no doubt that for a while (mid-70s to 80s) he was the major Lied composer of our time. This reminds me, somewhat by the way, that his teacher, Wilhelm Killmayer, also composed some very beautiful late Hölderlin settings (Wergo, Schreier/Klee) and wrote a superb homage to Schumann, Vanitas vanitatum 5 romances for violin and piano (CPO). Actually, I have excited myself by writing this and am going for that plateau stage or even higher this evening  8)
The Violin's Obstinacy

It needs to return to this one note,
not a tune and not a key
but the sound of self it must depart from,
a journey lengthily to go
in a vein it knows will cripple it.
...
Peter Porter

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Rihm's Wolf Gang
« Reply #41 on: October 28, 2010, 11:42:03 PM »
OK you Rihm experts out there - would any of you like to opine on this disc featuring 4 of Wolfy's concertos?

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Offline petrarch

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Re: Rihm's Wolf Gang
« Reply #42 on: October 29, 2010, 04:45:22 AM »
OK you Rihm experts out there - would any of you like to opine on this disc featuring 4 of Wolfy's concertos?



Worth it, as are all other Rihm releases on Hänssler. My favourite there is Styx und Lethe.
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snyprrr

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Re: Rihm's Wolf Gang
« Reply #43 on: October 30, 2010, 11:44:51 PM »
Worth it, as are all other Rihm releases on Hänssler. My favourite there is Styx und Lethe.

You wouldn't happen to have the Complete SQs? I'm curious about 6,7, and, to a lesser degree, 9. I have 3-5, and 8, and frankly I like them all, but the ColLegno packaging is frustrating to me. However, if either 6-7 is a Masterpiece! ;) I'm not sure about his latest years.

Offline petrarch

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Re: Rihm's Wolf Gang
« Reply #44 on: October 31, 2010, 03:06:06 AM »
You wouldn't happen to have the Complete SQs? I'm curious about 6,7, and, to a lesser degree, 9. I have 3-5, and 8, and frankly I like them all, but the ColLegno packaging is frustrating to me. However, if either 6-7 is a Masterpiece! ;) I'm not sure about his latest years.

Curious that you ask, I have listened to all of them recently and, just like you, I like them all. I think the set is exceedingly good, and the Minguet Quartet do the music justice, even when compared to the Ardittis, who are probably my favourite SQ group ever. Now, the selection on the Arditti disc (#3, #5, #8) happens to be very good, and it is a fine summary of Rihm's writing for SQ.

The 12 quartets are certainly different and it is a good overview of Rihm's various "personalities" and it is clear that he wanted different things with each piece (note that #11 is not present, but there is a pseudo #13, Quartettstudie). To me, thinking about the quartets brings me good memories and pleasant associations, even if totally subjective, with Kein Firmament, Fremde Szenen and Phantom und Eskapade, works that I thoroughly enjoy.

I see that you are interested in the longer ones; #6 is certainly the longest at almost 50 mins :).

There's a link to my CD collection in my signature, you can see what else I have of Rihm, if you have any further questions.
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Re: Rihm's Wolf Gang
« Reply #45 on: October 31, 2010, 09:43:07 PM »
Curious that you ask, I have listened to all of them recently and, just like you, I like them all. I think the set is exceedingly good, and the Minguet Quartet do the music justice, even when compared to the Ardittis, who are probably my favourite SQ group ever. Now, the selection on the Arditti disc (#3, #5, #8) happens to be very good, and it is a fine summary of Rihm's writing for SQ.

The 12 quartets are certainly different and it is a good overview of Rihm's various "personalities" and it is clear that he wanted different things with each piece (note that #11 is not present, but there is a pseudo #13, Quartettstudie). To me, thinking about the quartets brings me good memories and pleasant associations, even if totally subjective, with Kein Firmament, Fremde Szenen and Phantom und Eskapade, works that I thoroughly enjoy.

I see that you are interested in the longer ones; #6 is certainly the longest at almost 50 mins :).

There's a link to my CD collection in my signature, you can see what else I have of Rihm, if you have any further questions.

Thanks, very interesting.

I also have the Alban Berg 4 (w/Schnittke, great album), live, which is searing, but yes, I'm glad that you confirmed positive on the rest. Haha, the only reason I mention the 5-6-7 cd is the the 8-9-10 (with the shorter quartets) runs under 50mins, I think! Shocking!

Then there's that clarinet and SQ piece,... but I haven't really been tempted by the music for violin and piano.

Offline petrarch

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Re: Rihm's Wolf Gang
« Reply #46 on: February 20, 2011, 03:02:06 AM »
Deus Passus



This is Rihm at his most traditionalist. Gone are the angular, jagged irruptions of previous works, conferring this one with a smoother surface that rarely presents contrasting dynamics. The ear for sparse textures is unmistakable, as are the work's concision and directness, the main reasons why I find it enjoyable. Voices and choir are quite tolerable, despite the operatic character and the (usually) mostly unbearable vibrato. Overall, this is a meditative work without much of an arc, the structure being more episodic even though it flows quite seamlessly.

You can read an interesting essay about this work at http://theomniscientmussel.com/chapter-iv-wolfgang-rihm-and-deus-passus/
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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Rihm's Wolf Gang
« Reply #47 on: March 05, 2011, 04:20:25 AM »
I want to express my appreciation for the Toucan's post above, which must have taken a lot of effort to research and write. It's posts like that which make this board useful  :)

Meanwhile, I bought the disc of 4 concertos that I mentioned earlier. Haven't yet had time to listen to it properly however.
formerly VELIMIR (before that, Spitvalve)

"Who knows not strict counterpoint, lives and dies an ignoramus" - CPE Bach

snyprrr

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Re: Rihm's Wolf Gang
« Reply #48 on: March 10, 2011, 11:11:27 PM »
Well, if the experts won't answer this, I will.

The intent of this CD may have been pedagogical as it samples music composed over a 20 year span - about half the career of a composer who is nearing sixty years old, already.

It is often hard to tell if Rihm is basically a conservative - a later day Pfitzner - who has absorded the lessons of Karleinz Stockhausen, with whom he has studied, if I am not mistaken; or if he is a modern, who likes to integrate the legacy of a bygone past into prophecies of an uncertain future.

The earlier work on this CD -Erster Doppelgesang (1980) would seem to bear out the former opinion. It is basically expressionist - an updated expressionism, if you will - and even tragic - modernized tragedy. While the newer one - Musik fur Oboe und Orchester (2002), is in the style that seems to characterize most of Rihms compostions from the current millenium (except when he succumbs to the dainty sirens of neo-classicism). It is in a basically post-webernian style - post-webernian defined as the style practiced by (or nexus of styles, the general direction taken by) modernists who have moved beyond serialism without giving up on modernity per se - the style of latter Boulez and Berio - or the gentler, kinder modernism of Sir Harrison Birtwistle (when Sir Harrison is not curtsying to the silly-looking tutus of neo-classicism).

Rihm likes to end his pieces on dramatic climaxes, which are usually accelerations of and precipitations from the usually slow pace of the music. In his earlier work, the climaxes are likely to be paroxisms of tragedy; but in his latter work, the climaxes are more humorous, as with the quirky, jazz-like ending of Marsyas (mentionned above) - and as with the climaxof  this oboe piece, in which he seems to (gently) satirize a faintly clown-like tonality.

But do you like it? ;D

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Rihm's Wolf Gang
« Reply #49 on: March 11, 2011, 04:19:13 AM »
Well, if the experts won't answer this, I will. [useful post snipped]

Thank you toucan for that response. I will however echo the snyprrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr's question:

But do you like it? ;D
formerly VELIMIR (before that, Spitvalve)

"Who knows not strict counterpoint, lives and dies an ignoramus" - CPE Bach

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Re: Rihm's Wolf Gang
« Reply #50 on: March 11, 2011, 08:18:26 AM »
I did actually get a new Rihm piece: the 'basso trio' Verzeichnung-Studie(1986), for bass, cello, and viola. I have it on "Trio Basso Vol.1", but it is also available on the Kairos disc with the 'Trios'.

This piece lies squarely in Rihm's 'awesome' phase (haha), having the same things we've all enjoyed in the SQs from the same period. Nothing really to report other than a winning Rihm piece. The whole cd (Nicolaus Huber, Kagel, Rihm, Kalitzke) is quite super for what it is. This configuration is very evocative and disturbing. The Kalitzke piece has some of the best vocalizing (grunts and shouts of exertion) I've heard.

Offline edward

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Re: Rihm's Wolf Gang
« Reply #51 on: March 13, 2011, 09:09:35 AM »
My jury's still out on him (on Rihm, not Abbado) - but so far he seems rather uneven - perhaps a Hindemith or an Honegger for our time...
This seems to me to be a fair assessment at this moment in time. His enormous output (Universal Edition list 328 works) and huge stylistic range (from post-Nono to neo-Romantic) can be a barrier to assessing where he is, too.
"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 Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Rihm's Wolf Gang
« Reply #52 on: March 16, 2011, 12:50:55 AM »
Heard something extraordinary this evening - Vers une Symphonie Fleuve III, by Rihm (1992/1995).

Does any1 know how many of these Vers une Symphonie Fleuve things there are? And can any1 compare and contrast them? (And do we know if Rihm ever "got to" the symphony he was heading "towards"?)

Thanks for the rec. I heard Kurtag's Stele played a by a Dutch youth orchestra in Prague some years ago. Impressive piece.
formerly VELIMIR (before that, Spitvalve)

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Offline petrarch

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Re: Rihm's Wolf Gang
« Reply #53 on: March 16, 2011, 04:49:10 AM »
Does any1 know how many of these Vers une Symphonie Fleuve things there are?

There are four of them, the first three from 1995, the fourth from 1998.

And can any1 compare and contrast them? (And do we know if Rihm ever "got to" the symphony he was heading "towards"?)

The same recording (I assume it is the same, since the dates, conductor and orchestra match) is available on hänssler here:



...but since it is the only one I know, I don't have any others to compare with.

Thanks for the rec. I heard Kurtag's Stele played a by a Dutch youth orchestra in Prague some years ago. Impressive piece.

Stele is really good indeed.
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Offline edward

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Re: Rihm's Wolf Gang
« Reply #54 on: March 16, 2011, 07:48:55 AM »
I do not own this Hanssler recording so I cannot be 100% sure. But the two pieces listed on the cover as 1. Symphonie and 2. Symphonie are probably his youthful symphonies of 1969 and of 1975, not Vers une symphonie fleuve I and II.

http://www.composers21.com/compdocs/rihmw.htm
Yes, they are indeed the two early symphonies.

Regarding the Vers une symphonie fleuve series, there's also fleuve V, which appears to be the last in the series. The five works are in ascending length (the first four growing from about twelve to about thirty minutes, fleuve V is over an hour long).

I've heard bootlegs of both IV and V (which share a lot of material) and regard them as the '90s Rihm version of neoromanticism--highly dramatic and gestural works where Berg and Hartmann are obvious reference points; inevitably Mahler is as well. I'd love to hear commercial recordings made, as I think they stand with some Schnittke (Peer Gynt, for example) as monuments to how much more ambitious a neoromantic style can be compared to comparatively "safe" composers like the later Penderecki.
"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 petrarch

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Re: Rihm's Wolf Gang
« Reply #55 on: March 16, 2011, 04:00:03 PM »
I do not own this Hanssler recording so I cannot be 100% sure. But the two pieces listed on the cover as 1. Symphonie and 2. Symphonie are probably his youthful symphonies of 1969 and of 1975, not Vers une symphonie fleuve I and II.

http://www.composers21.com/compdocs/rihmw.htm

Yes, those symphonies are not the Vers une symphonie fleuve I and II. What I meant is that the recording of III there is the same as that in Musik in Deutschland 1950-2000.
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Offline UB

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Re: Rihm's Wolf Gang
« Reply #56 on: March 16, 2011, 08:21:10 PM »
Does anyone know of a recording of I? I have never found it even as a webcast recording/
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Offline petrarch

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Re: Rihm's Wolf Gang
« Reply #57 on: June 03, 2011, 05:32:12 AM »
Fetzen



Quote
Fetzen means "scraps" or "shreds", and what began as a short piece for string quartet with that title in 1999 was expanded over the next five years in typical Wolfgang Rihm fashion into a cycle of eight equally tiny pieces. Five of them added an accordion to the string quartet, and another (Fetzen 4) was written for just viola and accordion. But the proliferation didn't stop there – in 2001 the original Fetzen 1 was incorporated wholesale into Rihm's much more substantial 12th String Quartet, with other material interleaved with it. Three years later, it also formed the basis for Interscriptum, which Rihm calls a "duo" for string quartet and piano. Played together with the two longer pieces as the frame, it makes an enthralling sequence, alternately hyperactive and glacially still. The accordion sometimes provides the still centre in either the high treble or the lowest bass around which the strings scurry and twirl, or sometimes holding sustained chords for the other instruments to ricochet off. It's superbly played here by the Ardittis, with the accordionist Teodoro Anzelotti, while Nicolas Hodges is the volatile pianist in Interscriptum.

Andrew Clements

From my part, Fetzen is typical Rihm string quartet writing, in other words, intense, captivating, gripping, with moments of great serenity. The combination of string quartet and accordion works surprisingly well; timbres mesh seamlessly and the accordion makes me think of what Rihm would sound like if he wrote electronic music.
//p
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Offline Brewski

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Re: Rihm's Wolf Gang
« Reply #58 on: June 03, 2011, 05:43:57 AM »
This sounds great - I love contemporary works using accordion, and very much admire all the performers on the CD, too.

Thanks for posting - wasn't aware of this.

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snyprrr

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Re: Rihm's Wolf Gang
« Reply #59 on: June 03, 2011, 07:05:10 AM »
Looks like a interesting disc, which I have now wish-listed.  I too am intrigued by the ensemble of SQ+accordion.

I, for one, am not a big fan of the Modern Accordion Music bandwagon that eeeeeverybody seems to be going gaga over. Except for a few snippets I've heard, it still just ends up sounding like an accordion to me, which, sorry, I have la-la-la/must-find-happy-place memories of (Fiddler on the Roof?).

Perhaps Rihm is different here. I have a very similarly programmed cd by the Ardittis, on Winter&Winter, by Pintscher,... perhaps the Rihm would make a nice complement? I haaave kept this cd on the waaay back-burner for now: I'm totally frustrated that Vol.2 in the Arditti/Halffter cycle is only available from Spain,... with 20EU shipping!! :o

I'm still totally satisfied with my meager muster of Rihm,... at the moment (Subject to Change!!).