WOLFGANG RIHM (b.1952): Music for Violin and Orchestra - Dritte Musik, Lichtzwang (In memoriam Paul Celan), Gedicht des Malers.
Catalogue Number: 12U060
Description: Having Rihm's violin concerti collected on one disc provides an interesting comparison of what has remained the same and what has changed in the course of his career. From earliest to most recent, German Romanticism remains a constant presence, though incorporated into Rihm's modern idiom in different ways. Lichtzwang, an homage to Paul Celan, is an early work, from the 1970s. Here the worlds of modernity and Romanticism collide and oppose one another, as do the soloist and orchestra. The work is tough and contemporary in style, but at its center introduces a serene chorale, which provides material for much of the rest of the piece, including an extended episode of Wagnerian opulence, preceding the concerto's final disintegration. In the 1990s, Dritte Musik emerges as a completely different piece, with strongly driven percussion rhythms and a kaleidoscopic sense of the unexpected. Between energetic outbursts, tense interactions between soloist and orchestra, a good deal of what sounds like tonal harmony, and a dramatic contour that culminates in a powerful climax, this work suggests the strongest narrative thread of the three, with the greatest sense of Romantic drama. “Poem of the Painter” (2012-14) is a tribute to Ysaÿe, without direct reference but with exuberant violin figuration. The overall language, not untypically of Rihm's more recent work, is strongly reminiscent of Berg. Tianwa Yang (violin), Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz; Christoph-Mathias Mueller.