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Walter Zimmermann: Synastria

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  • Kore (2010) für Flöte, Harfe, Schlagzeug, Klarinette, Klavier
  • Ataraxia (1988) für Klavier und Orchester
  • Klangfaden (1983) für Bassklarinette, Harfe, Glockenspiel mit Klingstein
  • Saitenspiel (1983) für 18 Instrumente


Philosophical writings from antiquity have frequently underlaid Zimmermann’s work of recent years, particularly in relation to notions of time an ‘harmonia’ [...] Another recurrent theme in later works is that of the ‘broken unison’ (both melodic and rhythmic), which clearly has an allegorical/social dimension as well as a musical one [...] The isolated performance of single of his pieces emphasises their ‘otherness’ in relation to the main trends in new German music, whereas the hearing of several pieces together reveals a remarkably rich and coherent personal work. (Richard Toop)
Frankfurt’s HCD Ensemble are also members of Germany’s infamous Ensemble Modern. They are joined here by the superb violinist Peter Rundel and cellist Michael Bach.

Wüstenwanderung [Wandering in the desert] is almost unplayable because the superimposed layers – which have their own tempi and encompass the entire pitch range of the piano, producing a constant crossing of lines.

Geduld und Gelegenheit [Patience and opportunity]. The cycle deals with a Renaissance hieroglyph, the reading of which leads to the conceptual range of opportunity, time, virtue, happiness, patience.

Lied im Wüstenvogelton [Song in the Tone of a Desert Bird]. The bass flute sounds out the tones of a children’s song in infinite slowness. The pianist whistles the original in brief fragments. Otherwise the song only emerges in transformations, which eventually make room for a new song.

The Echoing Green. The children’s song “Ich bin das ganze Jahr vergnügt” [I am happy all year long] serves as a basis for a process of transformation and dissolution, whereby it never emerges in its original form anywhere in the piece.

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