Magazine article Gramophone

BA Zimmermann: Giostra Genovese

Magazine article Gramophone

BA Zimmermann: Giostra Genovese

Article excerpt

BA Zimmermann

Giostra genovese. Konzert fur Strelchorchester. Musique pour les soupirs du roi Ubu. Sinfonie in einem Satz

WDR Symphony Orchestra, Cologne / Peter Hirsch Wergo (F) WER7340-2 (64' * DDD)

Over half a century since undertaking the first recording of Die Soldaten, Wergo has done full service to the memory of Bernd Alois Zimmermann with a steady stream of releases. The latest of them strikes the most vivid and precarious balance between the composer's determined if self-conscious contribution to German musical culture and his self-negating satire of that very tradition.

In both the one-movement Symphony and a neo-classical Concerto for string orchestra, Zimmermann responded to time-honoured genres with characteristically violent invention. In the spicily Bartokian harmonies of the Concerto's central aria, Zimmermann can be heard searching for a voice that would burst forth with obstreperous individuality in the Symphony's thunderous opening gambit. Most latter-day performances (there are two to be sampled at the Berlin Philharmonic's Digital Concert Hall) present his slightly moderated revision of 1953, but the WDR Symphony Orchestra (replete with gothically thunderous organ) throw their considerable weight behind the original, still-unpublished version which outraged critics at its premiere two years earlier. …

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