The Squid's Ear Magazine

Meier, Hermann : Works For Piano 1949 - 1987 [2 CDs] (Edition Wandelweiser Records)

German pianist Dominik Blum presents his second album for the Wandelweiser label, performing a selection of compositions from Swiss composer Hermann Meier (1906-2002), whose forward-looking work with reduced scores, modern use of time and space, and graphics scores in compositions pre-dating Messiaen, Stockhausen, Boulez, &c. that are only recently being rediscovered.

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Hermann Meier-composer

Dominik Blum-piano

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UPC: 4011778040927

Label: Edition Wandelweiser Records
Catalog ID: EWR 1715/16
Squidco Product Code: 25292

Format: 2 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2017
Country: Germany
Recorded live at Radiostudio Zurich, in Zurich, Switzerland, on August 16th, 17th and 18th, 2017, by Fabio Oehrli and Tonlabor Bern.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"The new CD by the Winterthur pianist Dominik Blum closes an important gap. It is 17 years since he recorded Meier's five large-scale piano works for the Wandelweiser label. He has now recorded them again and added several others too, which means his new CD features all of Meier's piano works except the early pieces composed before 1947. It has undoubtedly been a worthwhile project.

To be sure, Blum's first recording was persuasive enough as an advocate for Meier's music - but his interpretations of these works have meanwhile become more mature, more refined and at the same time more rounded, and they possess an immense breadth of expression and subtlety. They also take us deep into the music. Meier's graphic works can offer us an impression of how he constructed his musical architecture, but here we can actually use our ears to enter into his music."-Thomas Meyer, Swiss Music Portal

Artist Biographies

"Hermann Meier (born May 29, 1906 in Selzach, † August 19, 2002 in Zullwil) was a Swiss composer.

Although Hermann Meier received piano and organ lessons, he continued his studies in the theoretical subjects at the Basel Music Academy. Nevertheless, he did not hit a musician's career. Instead, he became a teacher. He worked for 47 years in Zullwil (Solothurn) as a village school teacher. In addition to his professional activity, Meier had to feed a family of seven, he devoted himself to the life of the composition and appeared in the Schwarzbubenland musically as a conductor of village choirs in appearance. He regularly visited nearby Basel, where he came into contact with the works of Arnold Schönberg, Anton Webern and others. He took composition lessons with Vladimir Vogel and René Leibowitz.

In 1948, at the instigation of Vladimir Vogel in Orselina, a preparatory meeting was held for a "Dodecaphonic Congress", in which Meier met, inter alia, Luigi Dallapiccola, Gian Francesco Malipiero, Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Rolf Liebermann and Erich Schmid.

Despite intensive efforts Meier was able to see to today's state of research until the age of 70 years, only three performances of his works, all at the house music evenings for contemporary music of the Bernese couple Hermann and Irène Gattiker. An explanation provides the novelty of his work, so he explored early compositional techniques and took aesthetic positions, like no one else in Switzerland. Probably even before Jacques Wildberger and thus as the first Swiss composer he explored serial and punctual techniques, worked at the same time as Iannis Xenakis or György Ligeti on sound surfaces and wrote in the mid-1950s very reduced scores full of breaks. Since the mid-50s Meier worked with graphic scores, which he based on the revered painter Piet Mondrian Mondriane.

In 1975 Meier was able to realize the composition Klangschichten at the renowned experimental studio of the Heinrich Strobel Foundation. In 1976 he received a prize for the work of the Canton of Solothurn for this composition, the only official award during his lifetime.

The composer Urs Peter Schneider became the first interpreter who vehemently championed Meier. In the mid-1980s, Ensemble Neue Horizonte Bern was premiered by Schneider's various pieces by Meier. Dominik Blum, a pupil of Schneiders, published the first CD with works by Hermann Meier in 2001 in the edition Wandelweiser. Hermann Meier died in 2002 in Zullwil. Only posthumously, the signs of a rediscovery of Meier increase. In 2009, his estate was accepted into the Paul Sacher Foundation, the aart-verlag Zürich started with a complete edition of his works and in 2010 the Basel SinfoniettaOn the initiative of the composer Marc Kilchenmann, for the first time two of his 28 orchestral works were premiered. In addition, contributions to Hermann Meier were published in the journal dissonanz-dissonance and the Schweizer Musikzeitung."

-Wikipedia (Translated by Google) (

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"Dominik Blum - pianist, keyboarder, conductor. Concert graduate SMPV at Urs Peter Schneider in Bern. Concerts and radio records as panist and conductor (solo, chamber music, chamber operas). Classical repertoire and contemporary works by famous international and swiss composers, new discoveries like Sam Hayden, David Dramm, Werner M. Grimmel, Martin Imholz, Olga Diener a.o. Rock music from early childhood on. Long experiences with analog electronics. Free music and interdisciplinary projects in several groups: Since 1995 with Steamboat Switzerland. Since 2001 duo worl with the saxophone player Raphael Camenisch, since 2003 with the pianist Tamriko Kordzaia. Since 2005 new border experiences with the improvising noise metal trio AZEOTROP. 2000 first release of solo piano works by the swiss avantgarde composer Hermann Meier. Tours in Europe, China, Russia, USA, Canada, Southern America. Composer of open musicayl concepts (music one, two, three, etc). Teaches piano. 1998 cultural price of the city of Winterthur, 2001 price of cultural foundation Winterthur. Lives there with his his wife, the music teacher Sabina von Werra (vonwerranachblum) and their two kids Xenia and Seraphim."

-Dominik Blum Website (

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Track Listing:


1. Klavierstuck (1956) 13:34

2. Klavierstuck Fur Charles Dobler (1968) 12:57

3. Klavierstuck (1957) 9:56

4. Sonate Fur Klavier I (1948-49) 7:15

5. Sonate Fur Klavier II (1948-49) 8:35

6. Sonate Fur Klavier III (1948-49) 10:55

7. Zwei Klavierstuck Fur Lilo Mathys (1955-56) / 1 14:55


1. Kleine Elegie Fur Klavier Fur Gaby Stebler (1968) 1:09

2. Klavierstuck (1957) 8:34

3. Klavierstuck Fur Urs Peter Schneider (1987) 7:30

4. Klaviervariationen Fur Hermann Gattiker (1951-52; Rev. 1969) 16:52

5. Zwei Klavierstucke Fur Lilo Mathys (1955-56) / 2 10:04

Related Categories of Interest:

Compositional Forms
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Piano & Keyboards
Solo Artist Recordings
New in Compositional Music

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The Squid's Ear Magazine

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