Personalities | Bernd Alois Zimmermann | Contemporary | Classical

(Bârnt A-lo’-es Tsim’-mer-man) 1918–70
German composer

Initially attracted to Milhaud and Stravinsky, Zimmermann studied at Darmstadt and was already integrating serialism with elements of popular music in the ballet score Metamorphose (1954), whose ‘boogie-woogie’ passage was later incorporated into the trumpet concerto Nobody Knows da Trouble I See of the same year, itself featuring the African-American spiritual of that title. But it is his opera Die Soldaten (‘The Soldiers’, 1958–64) that ranks as his most important work: its pluralism operates at the dramatic as well as the musical level, with different actions played out on different levels of the stage accompanied by different simultaneous musics. His late works, such as the orchestral Stille und Umkehr (‘Silence and Return’ 1970), are often introverted and attenuated in expression.

Recommended Recording:
Die Soldaten, soloists, Stuttgart State Opera Chorus & Orchestra (cond) Bernhard Kontarsky (Teldec/Warner)

Introduction | Contemporary | Classical


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