Wolfgang Rihm #39

Wolfgang Rihm #39

900639 (BR Klassik musica viva, CD)

FIRST RELEASE (4 March 2022)

Playing time: 58'05"
Tracks: 6
Booklet pages: 14
℗ 2022 BRmedia Service GmbH
© 2022 BRmedia Service GmbH
Main country of recording: Germany
Country of manufacture: Germany
Reviewer: Geoff Pearce
Review of Wolfgang Rihm #39 published on 25 April 2022

Tamara Stefanovich, piano (tracks 1 and 3)
Members of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (tracks 1 and 3)
Stanley Dodds, conductor (tracks 1 and 3)
Christian Gerhaher, baritone (track 2)
Tabea Zimmermann, viola (track 2)
Jörg Widmann, clarinet (track 3)

Wolfgang Rihm (born 1952):

1 Sphäre Nach Studie (1993/2002)

2 Stabat Mater (2020)

3-6 Male über Male 2 (2000/2008)

Recorded live on 8 December 2020 at Prinzregententheater, Munich, Germany.

Wolfgang Rihm is one of the most important contemporary composers of our time. The musician, professor of composition and author from Karlsruhe, Germany is a larger-than-life personality, and the contemporary music scene is impossible to imagine without him. His knowledge of music is all-encompassing, as is his mastery of the arts, literature and philosophy - all of which serve as sources of inspiration for his composing. With more than four hundred compositions, he has created a universe that cannot easily be defined. Rihm has written New Music - the titles of his compositions have come to symbolise the musical history of recent decades. Other works by him refer to music history – they include, for example, oratorios inspired by Bach, orchestral works based on Brahms, or chamber music inspired by Schumann. His stage works enrich the programmes of opera houses. Rihm's piece Sphäre Nach Studie (1993/2002) for chamber ensemble received its world premiere on 13 March 2002 in Karlsruhe, and was also the opening work at the concert of the Bayerische Rundfunk musica viva series recorded live on 8 December 2020 in Munich's Prinzregententheater. That concert concluded with Male über Male 2 (2000/2008), a commission by WDR that was premiered by Jörg Widmann in Witten in 2008. The origins of both works lie in solo pieces that Rihm has painted over and commented on several times. In them, he sends the piano as well as the highly virtuosic clarinet on journeys through new landscapes. Between these two instrumental works, the baritone Christian Gerhaher and the violist Tabea Zimmermann perform Rihm's haunting Stabat Mater (2020) – they gave its first performance less than ten months earlier, on 23 September 2020, in the Berliner Philharmonie (a commission from the Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin and the Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker). In this work, the reduction to the unusual constellation of voice and string instrument creates a sound space in which much, perhaps everything, is possible. The direct confrontation of the baritone with the inner singing of the viola gives rise to a wordless song, a breathing line.