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Monday, December 24, 2018

Wolfgang Rihm, Lichtzwang, Music for Violin and Orchestra 1, Tianwa Yang, Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Christoph-Mathias Mueller

Here in the Western World it is Christmas Eve as I write these words. Yet before I turn on Handel and the rest I wanted to first say something about a very nice new release I have been hearing lately. I speak of a new one of the compositions of an increasingly vital living figure in New Music, Wolfgang Rihm (b. 1952). It is the soaring violin of Tianwa Yang along with the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz conducted by Christoph-Mathias Mueller. They give us (happily) Rihm's Music for Violin and Orchestra I, Lichtzwang (Naxos 8.573812). It is significant New Music fare, for those that look for the higher realms of expression today.

This is music to sink into, to hear again and so on over a long series of listens, and then to get with it. There are three concerted works, moody and atmospheric. They are the title work, Lichtzwang (In Memoriam Paul Celan) (1975-76), "Dritte Musik" (1993) and "Gedicht des Malers" (2014).

Rihm is a High Modernist with his own set of ears. His music promises to keep you interested. This first volume of the violin-orchestra works gives us much to fascinate and stimulate. The performances will grab you too. So buy a present for yourself!

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