Saturday, April 7, 2018

SWITZERLAND: Idée Manu - Oktopus - The Music of Boris Blacher (2018)

Boris Blacher (1903-75) got around a lot. His father was born in Reval (today’s Tallinn), worked in management of a German-Russian bank and as such was sent travelling around the world. Young Boris was born in China, lived in Russia and Manchuria; then, as a young man, after stops in Shanghai and Paris, he ended up in Berlin, which in the 1920s was one of Europe’s, if not the world’s, most colourful metropolises. He stayed, studied architecture and maths, then music, and made ends meet composing commissions and accompanying silent film on the piano. After World War II, he became professor of composition, then head of Berlins Hochschule für Musik and was considered one of the most versatile personalities in new music in Germany. Influenced by Schoenberg, Hindemith and Milhaud, the worldly Blacher retained profound musical wit and artistic openness, thus safeguarding his work from the hermeticism that makes much of the music of his contemporaries accessible for specialists only.

01.Krebs (Prélude No. 5)
02.Oktopus (Prélude No. 15)
03.Prélude No. 10 (Solo Piano, Original B.B.)
04.Anemone (2. Sonatine)
05.Tentakel (M. Keller, Inspired by Ornament No. 7)
06.Seenadel (M. Keller, Solo Piano, Inspired by Prélude No. 9)
07.Carcharodon (Prélude No. 11)
08.Dugong (Ornament No. 2)
09.Prélude No. 3 (Solo Piano, Original B.B.)
10.Zitteraal (Prélude No. 7)
11.Hippocamp (M. Keller, Inspired by Prélude No. 14)
12.Prélude No. 16 (Solo Piano, Original B.B.)
13.Sberk (Prélude No. 20)