W. Rihm, Astralis, Other Choral Works, RIAS Kammerchor,
(released on March 13, 2012)
HMC 902129 | 68'07"
Listen to excerpts on Google Play
The Classical Review, May 9
Wolfgang Rihm, who runs the Institute of Modern Music at the Conservatory of Music in Karlsruhe, the city where he was born in 1952, is a prolific composer whose music, in many genres, is finding its way to performance more and more.[>> Read more]
His compositions for string quartet were the focus of the Fifth Biennale de quatuors à cordes in Paris in January this year, and he has had stints as composer-in-residence at the Lucerne Festival and at the Salzburg Festival, where his opera Dionysos had a well-regarded premiere in 2010. Rihm celebrates his 60th birthday this year, and Hans-Christoph Rademann and the talented singers of the RIAS Kammerchor have released this disc in his honor, with a selection of his choral music, ranging from the 1960s to the last decade.
Rihm, who was raised as a Catholic, gained his love of choral music when he sang for some years in the Karlsruhe Oratorio Choir, a point made in the fine booklet essay by scholar Toni Hildebrandt. Although his approach to choral music is on one hand backward-looking -- traditional Latin texts, references to Renaissance composers, a willingness to use tonal triads -- Rihm’s harmonic style incorporates too much dissonant vocabulary to be grouped with the saccharine music of the holy minimalists like Arvo Pärt or John Tavener, although there are pieces in this selection that might fit that description, like the motets Tristis est anima mea and Ecce vidimus eum.
Tom Service, Wolfgang Rihm: the musical omnivore (The Guardian, March 4, 2010)
Wolfgang Rihm on Ionarts
Charles T. Downey, Stimmung (October 3, 2007)
Andrew Clements, Rihm: Uber die Linie II (The Guardian, April 19, 2012)
Andrew Clark, Jakob Lenz, Hampstead Theatre, London (Financial Times, April 18, 2012)
Marcia Adair, Wolfgang Rihm and Deus passus (The Omniscient Mussel, [n.d.])