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Wolfgang Rihm

March 13, 1952 -
born in Karlsruhe, Germany, composed during the Contemporary period
The prolific composer Wolfgang Rihm's music is unpredictable, with wide mood swings and shocking juxtapositions between harsh utter violence and gentle, lovely sounds.

He began composing at the age of 11. In 1968, he began studying at the State Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe where his composition teacher was Eugene Velte. He also attended a special course in Humanities on modern composition with composer Wolfgang Fortner and Humphrey Searle, one of the best-known British composers using Schoenberg's 12-tone system. In 1969, Rihm went to the German center of avant-garde music, Darmstadt, to attend a course in new music. He graduated from the conservatory in Karlsruhe in 1972. After that, he pursued further independent study with Karlheinz Stockhausen, then attended classes with composer Klaus Huber and musicology with Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht.

From 1973 to 1978, he was a member of the faculty of the Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe and, in 1978, was a lecturer at the Darmstadt Festival courses. He wrote two chamber operas, Faust und Yorick (1976) and Jakob Lenz (1977-1978), which were given in Hamburg in 1979. He gained considerable recognition, including the Hamburg City Prize, the Berlin Arts Prize, the Darmstadt Kranichsteiner Music Prize, and Freiburg City Reinhold Schneider Prize, and the German Prix de Rome, which carried with it a residency at the Villa Massima of Rome.

In 1985 he was named professor of composition at Karlsruhe. He has continued to win awards and prizes, such as the 1986 Rolf Lieberman Prize for his opera Hamlet-Machine (1983-1986), the 1997 Prince Pierre of Monaco Prize for Musical Composition, the Jacob Burckhardt Prize of the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Foundation (1998), and an honorary doctorate from the Free University of Berlin.

He has gone on to write the operas Oedipus (1986-87); Die Eroberung von Mexico (1987-91); Andere Schatten, (1985) which is what he called a "musical scene"; and Séraphim (1994), designated "music theater without a text."

He tends to follow the 12-tone system as used by Anton Webern, Luigi Nono, the later composers William Killmayer and Helmuth Lachenmann, as well as being influenced by the music of Stockhausen and Morton Feldman. Most of his compositions are works for orchestra or for larger groups of instruments, although many of these works include vocal parts. The vocal-orchestral pieces include the Third Symphony, the Konzertarie on a Telegram from King Ludwig II to Richard Wagner, O Notte, Hölderlin Fragments, Abgesangszene No. 1, Doppelgesang No. 1 and Dies. He wrote a series of seven works based on the writings of Antonin Artaud, Tutuguri, many of which feature leading parts for percussion. His chamber music, which includes several string quartets, also includes works with vocal parts and unusual combinations of instruments. One of the works for which he is best known internationally is his violin concerto, championed and recorded by Anne-Sophie Mutter. He has also written a small quantity of piano and organ music. ~ Joseph Stevenson, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Wolfgang Rihm: Deus Passus

Disc 1
Title: DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra

1. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Das Ist Mein Leib

2. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Potum Meum

3. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Instrumentalsatz

4. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Und Er Ging Hinaus

5. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Domine, Audivi Auditum Tuum

6. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Siehe, Da Kam Die Schar

7. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Eripe Me, Domine

8. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Sie Griffen Ihn Aber

9. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Die Manner Aber,die Jesum Hielten-weissage, Wer Ist's

10. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Qui Cogitaverunt Malitias In Corde

11. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Und Als Es Tag Ward

12. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Und Sie Fuhrten Ihn Vor Pilatus

13. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Da Aber Herodes Jesum Sah

14. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Pilatus Aber Sprach

15. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Poplue Meus

16. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Und Als Sie Ihn Hinfuhrten-ihr Tochter Von Jerusalem-es Wurden Aber Auch Hingefuhrt

Disc 2

1. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Und Als Sie Kamen An Die Statte

2. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Crux Fidelis

3. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Er Hat Anderen Geholfen

4. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Hic Acetum, Fel, Arundo

5. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Es War Aber Auch Uber Ihm Geschrieben-und Es Ward Eine Finsternis

6. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Und Jesus Rief Laut-bater, Ich Befehle Meinen Geist-und Verschied

7. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Flecte Ramos, Arbor Alta

8. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Stabat Mater Dolorosa

9. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Und Alles Volk, Das Dabei War-furwahr, Er Trug Unsre Krankheit

10. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Joseph Von Arimathia Ging Zu Pilatus

11. DEUS PASSUS (St. Luke Passion), Oratorio For Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra: Tenebrae

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