HANS ZENDER (b.1936): Issei no kyō for Soprano and Orchestra (Claron McFadden [soprano], Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra; Johannes Kalitzke. rec. 2010), Nanzen no kyō - Canto VII for 4 Choral and Instrumental Groups (Cologne Radio Choir, Cologne RSO; Hans Zender. rec. 1993 - First Recordings), Dialog mit Haydn for 2 Pianos and 3 Orchestral Groups (Hermann Kretzschmar, Ueli Wiget [pianos], State Youth Orchestra; Zender. rec. 1993).
Catalogue Number: 11T052
Reference: WER 7339 2
Description: Zender the composer has a very individual way of connecting with the music of the past, informed, no doubt, by the encyclopædic repertoire of Zender the condictor, as much at home in Lachenmann as Mozart, or in Schubert as Nono. The 1982 Dialog views Haydn's 'Surprise' symphony through the splintered prism of virtually everything that has happened in music since. The work is scored for three orchestral groups tuned microtones apart, including two differently tuned pianos, which play an important rôle. The "fundamental elements [of Haydn's music] appear interchanged, distorted, mixed up, superimposed, partly destroyed or beyond recognition” according to the composer, and the real surprise is when clearly recognizable transcribed excerpts suddenly jut through the fabric. Zender's "Japanese" pieces - which don't sound remotely Japanese; that's not the idea - explore philosophical concepts outside the Western tradition, to do with the multiplicity of realities, time, and the absence of ego. The two here use texts by the Zen poet Ikkyū. In Issei no kyō the poem is set four times in four different languages; the 'non-linear' version recorded here interweaves the 'characters' in a complex cut-up and montage technique. Nanzen no kyō alternates movements that circle within themselves with others that constantly produce something new without repetition, in a complex texture that results from the division of both orchestra and choir into four spatially separated sections.