Magazine article Gramophone

Abrahamsen: 'Zahlen Und Erzahlen (Counting and Recounting)'

Magazine article Gramophone

Abrahamsen: 'Zahlen Und Erzahlen (Counting and Recounting)'

Article excerpt

Abrahamsen

'Zahlen und Erzahlen (Counting and Recounting)'

Four Pieces for Orchestra (a).

Piano Concerto (b). Ten Studies for Piano (c)

(bc) Tamara Stefanovich pf (ab) WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne / Jonathan

Stockhammer

Winter & Winter [F] 910 216-2 (50' * DDD)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen was always one of Winter & Winter's prized house-composers, and this latest instalment in the label's Abrahamsen cycle borrows its title from another label mainstay, Mauricio Kagel, whose children's piece Zahlen und Erzahlen plays with a cunning double meaning.

When learning music, children are told they must count (zahlen). And once musicians are able to zahlen, the process of erzahlen (recounting) can begin; instrumental technique as a route to unlocking memory and networks of musical association. To create his Four Pieces for Orchestra (2002-04) and Piano Concerto (1999-2000), Abrahamsen plundered his earlier Ten Studies for Piano (1983-98).

But his new compositions aim to add up to more than transcriptions or orchestrations--they contain raw gestural and harmonic data which, now stretched and elaborated on the larger scale, can go forth and multiply. …

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