Music and Time - The Many Facets of the Present

Originally, he wanted to be a theologian – instead, right after the end of World War II he became one of the most important composers of the middle generation: after the war, Bernd Alois Zimmermann was slightly too old to be counted among the »Young Wild Ones« surrounding Stockhausen, Nono and Boulez, who were working towards a decisive break with tradition, and yet he was too young to immediately become part of the »establishment«.
Born in 1918 and departed from life by his own hand much too early at the age of 52 in Cologne, Zimmermann made the many layers and facets of musical tradition his focus from the very beginning of his work as a composer. To his way of thinking, there was no »bad« material to avoid or prohibitions to heed. To him, who elevated the collage to a highly virtuosic amalgam of very different strands of time, Gebrauchsmusik (or »utility music«) and jazz, serial music and neo-classicistic sounds, spirituals and complex forms were not opposites, but part of a greater whole – for which Zimmermann found the very vivid image of the »spherical shape of time«.

»Music and Time« is the topic of the second edition of cresc..., focusing on Bernd Alois Zimmermann. The fixed constants are the two main partners Ensemble Modern and Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, joined by a cooperating partner, the International Music Institute Darmstadt. This edition sees the addition of another important partner institution, the Alte Oper Frankfurt. In Darmstadt, the State Theatre will be the venue for a multi-faceted evening.

Central works from Zimmermann’s oeuvre form the foundation of the four festival days. In addition, the program features twelve world premieres, chamber music, ensemble and orchestral works, a song recital with Christiane Oelze, a dance performance created especially for cresc..., a live remix project by Gebrüder Teichmann from Berlin, various performances of the HR Big Band as well as further guest ensembles – including the Quatuor Diotima and the New York-based »band« Alarm Will Sound. A response project, children’s concerts, a symposium as well as pre-concert talks round off a dense, many-faceted and fascinating program which is sure to throw new light on Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s heterogeneous oeuvre.

201321.–24. November 

© cresc biennale 2013