Magazine article Gramophone

BA Zimmermann: Alagoana

Magazine article Gramophone

BA Zimmermann: Alagoana

Article excerpt

BA Zimmermann Alagoana. Sinfonie in einem Satz. Photoptosis. Stille und Umkehr Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz / Karl-Heinz Steffens Capriccio [F] C5213 (69' * DDD)

That's a digger on the cover of this CD, but not just any digger. Look closely and you'll see caterpillar tracks, those earth-treading ridges which allow the machine extra leverage to pummel the ground with unrelenting force--a fitting visual metaphor for the music of German composer Bemd Alois Zimmermann.

Recent releases of Zimmermann's music have tended to group around the extraordinary vocal music he composed shortly before his suicide in 1970, and this disc features the orchestral music he was writing alongside and usefully plugs the historical gaps. Photoptosis, subtitled 'Prelude for Grand Orchestra' (1968), is usually considered Zimmermann's defining work but never has it sounded so rawboned and unrelenting: kudos to the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz and Karl-Heinz Steffens for pulling off such a chancy, intrepid performance.

The work of Yves Klein, the artist who flooded his images with his own self-invented kind of blue, led Zimmermann to think about a piece that could find timbral variety within monochrome colour. …

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