Monday, 29 May 2017
Hans Otte - Das Buch der Klänge / Stundenbuch / Face à Face (2006 compi)
Otte was particularly interested here in rediscovering the piano "as an instrument of timbre and tuneful sound with all its possibilities of dynamics, colour and resonance", and pretty much does so for 75 gorgeous minutes. If I had to pick an oustanding favourite, it's Part 10, but the whole thing is best experienced together, at your leisure.
On this 2006 compilation, not only was Book Of Sounds presented for the first time on CD at full length (Parts 2 and 10 were snipped on old discs, presumably to stay under the 74-minute limit on early CDs), but also accompanied by Otte's other major piano work, Stundenbuch (The Book Of Hours) (1991-98), four books each holding twelve little minatures. Musically, they're not quite as accessible as the Sounds pieces, and none of the 48 pieces last long enough to make a great impression, but taken together Hours is still an interesting experiment in harmonics and texture, that I sometimes listen to on shuffle to try and land on sections that I might have previously overlooked. And stick around for the bonus at the very end of Disc 2 for a fine example of Otte's early avant-garde work - Face à Face (composed and recorded 1965) is an engrossing 15 minutes of percussive piano noises and tape manipulation.
Disc 1 mega / Disc 1 zippy
Disc 2 mega / Disc 2 zippy