Zimmermann: Orchestral Works (CD)

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Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Karl-Heinz Steffens

Among the German avant-garde composers after the Second World War, he was the great outsider. Despite all ruthless innovation, his creative ethos was characteristic of the German tradition in the dimensions of idealistic and philosophical complexity and bitter and disjointed tragedy. Zimmermann was initially strongly influenced by the polyphonic currents of neo-Classicism and Expressionism in the wake of Hindemith, Jarnach and Stravinsky, but his own voluminous and daring characteristics quickly crystallized. It was not to be an easy position for him over the next two decades, as he felt himself to be the eldest among the young composers and at best saw companions in his elder colleagues Luigi Dallapiccola and Karl Amadeus Hartmann. It was only the premiere of his opera Die Soldaten that brought him broad and undisputed recognition, and Die Soldaten was soon considered the most important German opera since Alban Berg. As start for the upcoming CD edition “modern times” the conductor Karl-Heinz Steffens and his orchestra, the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, take care of the most unknown orchestral pieces of this composer.

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"[Photoptosis] is usually considered Zimmermann's defining work but never has it sounded so raw-boned and unrelenting: kudos to the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz and Karl-Heinz Steffens for pulling off such a chancy, intrepid performance." - Gramophone Magazine

"The symphony is impressively taut and compact...Karl-Heinz Steffens's performance of Stille und Umkehr, Zimmermann's final orchestral work, reveals it to be a haunting and obsessive miniature masterpiece that is hard to forget." - The Guardian (3 Stars)

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  • Zimmermann, B A: Alagoana. Caprichos Brasileiros
  • Zimmermann, B A: Photoptosis - Prelude for large orchestra
  • Zimmermann, B A: Sinfonie in einem Satz
  • Zimmermann, B A: Stille und Umkehr