Second album of the newly formed Piano Duo Gülru Ensari & Herbert Schuch
Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970) is quoting Mozart and Debussy and others in his Monologues. This project album is trying to follow the ruts of Zimmermann, celebrating his 100th birthday.
“As students we had already been allowed to take a peek inside the Monologues, but we only had access to a couple of photocopied pages. When the 100-year-celebration of Zimmermann’s birth came around, we remembered the impression they had made upon us. When we finally got to see the entire score, however, we took a deep breath: it demands the most incredible acrobatic feats!
From the very beginning, we were particularly charmed by the way Zimmermann cites other composers: the quoted passages rise up in the midst of an agitated storm, like islands of tranquility and beauty. The works quoted by Zimmermann are not for piano duo, but we find that they have certain parallels with the other pieces on this recording.
The cocky, unpredictable, whimsical aspect of Mozart’s C Major Sonata is also present in Zimmermann. It is fascinating to note how he quotes Debussy’s prelude Feux d’artifice (Fireworks) in the 4th and 5th Monologues, thereby transplanting that shimmering French flair into his own musical environment.
Debussy, for Zimmermann, is more than just a source for quotes. The frothy, pastel sonorities in the Monologues are so untypically German, so much more beautifully poetical than anywhere else, except in Debussy. Etc.” (excerpt from an interview printed in the booklet)
Claude Debussy was a French composer. He and Maurice Ravel were the most prominent figures associated with impressionist music, though Debussy disliked the term when applied to his compositions. He was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1903. He was among the most influential composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and his use of non-traditional scales and chromaticism influenced many composers who followed.
Debussy's music is noted for its sensory content and frequent usage of non-traditional tonalities. The prominent French literary style of his period was known as Symbolism, and this movement directly inspired Debussy both as a composer and as an active cultural participant Among his most famous works are his Clair de Lune, his Three Nocturnes and his orchestral piece La Mer.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose actual name is Joannes Chrysotomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a composer, pianist, violinist and conductor from the classical period, born in Salzburg. Mozart was a child prodigy. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. Along with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven, Mozart is considered to be one of the most influential composers of all of music's history. Within the classical tradition, he was able to develop new musical concepts which left an everlasting impression on all the composers that came after him. Together with Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven he is part of the First Viennese School. At 17, Mozart was engaged as a musician at the Salzburg court, but grew restless and traveled in search of a better position. From 1763 he traveled with his family through all of Europe for three years and from 1769 he traveled to Italy and France with his father Leopold after which he took residence in Paris. On July 3rd, 1778, his mother passed away and after a short stay in Munich with the Weber family, his father urged him to return to Salzburg, where he was once again hired by the Bishop. While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position. He chose to stay in the capital, where he achieved fame but little financial security. During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and portions of the Requiem, which was largely unfinished at the time of his death.