Personalities | Helmut Lachenmann | Contemporary | Classical

b. 1935
German composer

Lachenmann studied in his home city of Stuttgart and then with Nono in Venice, soon himself becoming an influential teacher in Europe. While his early works employ serialism, he later developed his own approach, which he called musique concrète instrumentale – using conventional instruments to mimic the effect of electronically produced or manipulated sound. In many of his works, instruments produce anything but their ‘normal’ sound or tone-quality, and even quoted music (such as the recording of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto used in Accanto, 1975–76) is rendered strange and unfamiliar. But, as is evident in his operatic treatment of Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Little Match Girl’ (Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern, 1990–96), the resulting soundscape can generate atmosphere and considerable dramatic tension.

Recommended Recording:
Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern, South-West German Radio SO (cond) Sylvain Cambreling (ECM)

Introduction | Contemporary | Classical
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