Thursday, 24 October 2019

Hans Zender is dead

Hans Zender with Michael Gielen and Sylvain Cambreling

Hans Zender died this week, aged 82. In the photo above he's with Michael Gielen (middle) and. Sylvain Cambreling (right).  Zender conducted, but was even better known as a composer.  I met Zender in 1994 at the Royal Festival Hall, after the UK premiere of his Schuberts Winterreise with Ensemble Modern.  At that time, I didn't understand the piece.  By no means was it an orchestration of Schubert. It's a through-composed work, a meditaion on the original by a thoughtful modern composer. Over the years, Zender's Schuberts Winterreise has grown in stature and has been performed numerous times, by many great singers and orchestras.It lends itself to staging, too, since both Schubert's Winterreise and Zender's Schuberts Winterreise are so graphic, and lend themselves naturally to visual image. Zender wrote several operas. Please click on the label below "Zender, Hans" to read about several notable performances.  Zender's Schuberts Winterreise has become a modern classic, respected for its originality.  Proof that good things do get the respect that they deserve. Over the years, appreciation has deepened. My go-to recording now is Julian Prégardien and the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie conducted by Robert Reimerain, which works so well because it emphasizes Zender's often quirky but individual perspective.  Please read my detailed review HERE

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