German composer Alfred Zimmerlin presents 3 pieces that balance compositional and improvisational approaches, with a 7-part work for strings, a large Klavierstruck work for microtonal piano, and an improvised chamber work, "Klarinettenquintett," with Jurg Frey on clarinet.
Dunki . Frey . Aeschbacher . Capt . Hefti . Moster
Label: Edition Wandelweiser Records
Released in: Norway
"The three pieces on this CD are related insofar as Alfred Zimmerlin has attempted here to bring together and make a theme of the two opposing sides of his musical activity: on the one hand as an improvising musician and on the other as prescribing composer:
In "Clavierstück 4", for example, one can easily hear how Zimmerlin is posing himself relatively simple and therefore perceivable compositional problems from segment to segment. Much of this comes across like an improvisor who wanted to take a closer look at some problems which occurred to him while playing.
In "Klavierstück 5", Zimmerlin retuned part of the piano microtonally. With the resulting intervals a continuous play evolves between nearness and strangeness, between seduction and repulsion. lf this gigantic piano piece produces something like a metaphysical shiver, it is because we lose every possibility of classification. We can only rely on the music itself.
The experiences of the improvising cellist are most clearly poured into the "Klarinettenquintett", since what he tries to achieve here as a composer is almost self-evident in improvised chamber music: a coexistence of differing time layers.This can be beautifully demonstrated by the end of this piece, in which the instruments gradually unleash themselves from their context and start to gyrate in themselves. lnto this monadic circle the beginning of the piece (recorded in a different space and put through loudspeakers) resounds. Because of impulse sounds used in this music from the beginning, an extreme "togetherness" prevails and individual time-freedom is absent. The most important tension of great chamber music, the tension between autonomy and its dissolution in togetherness, is with this ending both fulfilled and newly created."-Editions Wandelweiser
Biography for: Alfred Zimmerlin
"Alfred Zimmerlin was born 1955. He studied musicology and ethnomusicology at Zurich University under the tutelage of Kurt von Fischer und Wolfgang Laade, music theory under the tutelage of Peter Benary, and composition under the tutelage of Hans Wüthrich and Hans Ulrich Lehmann. He has taken an active part in the "Werkstatt für improvisierte Musik" (WIM, Workshop for Improvised Music) Zurich since 1980. Alfred Zimmerlin's ample oeuvre comprises pieces for piano, chamber music (with and without live-electronics), vocal music, orchestral music, music for theatre, and works for radio and film. The most important are: "Gezeiten der Zeit" (for string orchestra), "Cueillis par la mémoire des voûtes" (saxophone quartet and string orchestra), "Euridice singt" ( a chamber opera), three string quartets, "Neidhardlieder" (for soprano and four Renaissance recorders), the "Cembalo-Buch", "In Bewegung (Nature Morte au Rideau)" (for piano, string orchestra and soundtrack), "Weisse Bewegung" (for violoncello , piano, and percussion), Quintet for clarinet and string quartet, or "Zerstreut in Arbeit mit Wörtern" (for soprano, piano, and soundtrack).
As an improvising musician and cellist, Alfred Zimmerlin has taken part in various formations in Europe and the US. From 1983 to 2009 he has been active member of KARL ein KARL, improvising and composing in cooperation with Peter K Frey and Michel Seigner, the distinctive feature of this trio being the fact that all compositional decisions are being made and accounted for collectively. Alfred Zimmerlin's work as improvising musician as well as the works of KARL ein KARL are available on numerous recordings."-Last.fm (http://www.last.fm/music/Alfred+Zimmerlin/+wiki)
Biography for: Jurg Frey
"Jürg Frey was born in 1953 in Aarau, Switzerland. Following his musical education at the Concervatoire de Musique de Genève, he turned to a career as a clarinetist, but his activities as composer soon came to the foreground. Frey developed his own language as a composer and sound artist with the creation of wide, quiet sound spaces. His work is marked by an elementary non-extravagence of sound, a sensibilty for the qualities of the material, and precision of compositional approach. His compositions sometimes bypass instrumentation and duration altogether and touch on aspects of sound art. He has worked with compositional series, as well as with language and text. Some of these activities appear in small editions or as artist's books as individual items and small editions (Edition Howeg, Zurich; weiss kunstbewegung, Berlin; complice, Berlin). His music and recordings are published by Edition Wandelweiser. Frey has been invited to workshops as visiting composer and for composer portraits at the Universität der Künste Berlin, the Universität Dortmund and several times at Northwestern University and CalArts. Some of the other places his work has developed are the concerts at the Kunstraum Düsseldorf, the Wandelweiser-in-Residence-Veranstaltungen in Vienna, the Ny music concerts in Boras (Sweden), the cooperation with Cologne pianist John McAlpine, the Bozzini Quartet (Montréal), QO-2 (Bruxelles), Die Maulwerker, incidental music, as well as the regular stays in Berlin (where during the last years many of his compositions were premiered). Frey is a member of the Wandelweiser Komponisten Ensemble which has presented concerts for more than 15 years in Europe, North America and Japan. Frey also organizes the concert series moments musicaux aarau as a forum for contemporary music."-Other Minds (http://www.otherminds.org/shtml/Frey.shtml)
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Label: Edition Wandelweiser Records
Catalog ID: EWR 9605
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Packaging: Jewel Case
Tracks 1-7 Recorded at Radio DRS, Zurich, in November 1995.
Tracks 8-10 Recorded at Radio DRS, Zurich, in July, 1994.
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1. I 5:07
2. II 4:56
3. III 1:58
4. IV 2:23
5. V 9:12
6. VI 1:27
7. VII 8:55
8. Clavierstuck 4 (1990/92, Version 1) 3:51
9. Klavierstuck 5 (1990-92) 28:52
10. Clavierstuck 4 (1990/92, Version 2) 2:20