RUTH ZECHLIN Sacred Circles+; Music for Epiphany*;
Resurrection*; Three Songs of Hildegard von Bingenº.
Ruth Zechlin (organ*), Harvestrude
Chamber Choir, Claus Bantzen; Mechthild Seitz (mezzo+), Werner
ARTE NOVA 74321 67504 2
[DDD] [63' 07"].
Ruth Zechlin was born in Saxony in 1926 and has three hundred works to her
name. She studied at the Music Academy at Leipzig. From 1950 she taught harmony,
counterpoint and composition at the Hans Eisler Academy in Berlin.
Sacred Circles is scored for three a cappella choirs and is an example of
spatial music. It is twelve minutes of three words only. The problem I had
with this is that the repetition of Hallelujah became quite inane and sounded
somewhat mocking akin to Halley - loo- yah? The emphasis on the LOO syllable
made it sound like a visit to the lavatory.
Music for Epiphany is an essay for organ. It is also slow and repetitive.
It has no purpose or direction nor does it exploit the organ. At almost twelve
minutes it is far too long. It has no interesting material to sustain this
length. It is tedious and rather grim.
Another organ piece follows. The Seven Last Words of Jesus on the Cross
is over twenty minutes of more slow and uneventful music. It takes a great
deal of stamina to sit this through to the end. The movement My God, My
God, why hast Thou forsaken me? has a dramatic moment.
The Bingen songs are better but only because of their brevity.
Music Oh dear!