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Bernd Alois Zimmermann
Canto di speranza

Thomas Zehetmair violin
Thomas Demenga cello
Gerd Böckmann voice
Robert Hunger-Bühler voice
Andreas Schmidt bass
WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln
Heinz Holliger conductor
 
Konzert (1950)
für Violine und großes Orchester
Meiner Frau

Sonata. Allegro moderato, rubato
Fantasia. Rubato molto
Rondo. Allegro con brio


Canto di speranza (1952/57)
Kantate für Violoncello und kleines Orchester
Meiner Frau

Ich wandte mich und sah an alles Unrecht, das geschah unter der Sonne (1970)
Ekklesiastische Aktion für zwei Sprecher, Bass-Solo und Orchester


Recorded May 2005
ECM New Series 2074
 
Pressreactions

Three keyfigures from ECM’s contemporary music roster – Heinz Holliger, Thomas Zehetmair, and Thomas Demenga – team up for an exceptional recording of three works by German post-war composer 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. The rhythmically energetic violin concerto (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” (1953/57), a one-movement cello concerto, acccording to Zimmermann, emphasizes monologue and introvert meditation. “Ich wandte mich…” on the other hand is Zimmermann’s last work, finished only a few days before his suicide in 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” work - of the kind that flourished in Germany’s ‘Fluxus’ scene around 1970 - involving recitation, singing, and both gestural and acrobatic action.