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Reiner BREDEMEYER (1929 – 1995)
Di As(+-) (1973)a
Oboenkonzert (1977)b
Synchronisiert: Asynchron (1975)c
Schlagstück 5 (1970)d
Bagatellen für B. (1970)e
Burkhard Glaetzen (oboe)ab; Ludwig Güttler (trumpet)a; Roswitha Trexler (soprano)c; Nancy Bello (soprano)c; Ensemblec; Dieter Brauer (piano)d; Joachim Gruner (percussion)d; Walter Olbertz (piano)e; Staatskapelle Berlinbe; Hartmut Haenchenb, Christoph-Albrecht von Kamptzc, Otmar Suitnere
Recorded: Lukaskirche, Dresden, February 1981a; Christuskirche, Berlin, February 1981b and June 1979e; SRK, Saal 1, Berlin, Junly 1975c; Studio Brunnenstrasse, Berlin, June 1980d
BERLIN CLASSICS 0013032 BC [56:31]

After World War II Bredemeyer studied with Karl Amadeus Hartmann and Karl Höller. He also studied privately with Carl Orff. However, he later settled in East Germany and had further lessons from Wagner-Régeny. Though influenced by the music of Webern, Bredemeyer composed in a freely tonal idiom at odds with the aesthetics of Socialist Realism. This is clearly evident in the works in this release, of which the earliest is the short Bagatellen für B. Written in 1970 (i.e. "Beethoven Year") and logically enough draws on two Bagatellen by Beethoven which are incidentally added as a bonus to this CD. This is thus a short homage for piano and orchestra in which Bredemeyer explores Beethoven’s thematic material. An attractive, though rather slender work.

Schlagstück 5 for percussion and piano also dates from 1970. This is conceived as a metrically free dialogue between the two players, and often sounds as a controlled improvisation in which the players respond each other, thus creating an eventful and colourful kaleidoscope.

Di As (+-) from 1973, scored for the rather unusual combination of oboe and trumpet, is probably the most experimental work in this selection of concert works by Bredemeyer. The red thread here is the confrontation of diverging material, divergence and duplication, agreement and disagreement, though the musical material centres on A and its octaves. Variety is also achieved by some more unusual playing techniques, such as playing in the mouthpiece and the like. This demanding piece is, to my mind, the least approachable work in this programme, but is nevertheless well worth having for its many ear-catching sonorities and its instrumental virtuosity.

The Oboe Concerto of 1977 is more a suite than a proper concerto. Its five concise movements, which may be played in any order, nevertheless make many demands upon the soloist’s skill and virtuosity, though never extravagantly so. It certainly is no easy work; but, from the listener’s point of view, it is fairly straightforward in its own expressionistic way. There is much contrast and variety as well as expressive power in this very fine work which I for one find the most readily appealing piece of music here. A superb reading too by its dedicatee.

Synchronisiert: Asynchron (1975) is a setting of texts by the Cuban poet Nicolás Guillén, both in the original Spanish and (in playback) in the German translation made by the composer. The German version is thus heard on tape whereas the Spanish original version is sung live. Synchronisation is not absolute, which results in some echoing canon, with just minor displacements in the delivery of the sung texts, thus creating a subtle polyphony supported by some expressionistic instrumental music. The piece was commissioned by the East German radio to commemorate the victims of Fascism. However, the quality of the music vastly transcends the overtly political meaning of the piece.

From the works recorded here, it is clear that the 1970s were a period of experimentation and of final synthesis successfully realised in the impressive Oboe Concerto. The present release provides for a fascinating survey of Bredemeyer’s personal, even idiosyncratic sound world. The performances are excellent and the recorded sound has worn well. Well worth investigating.

Hubert Culot


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