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Hans Zender (b.1936) is one of the leading senior figures of the German avant-garde, much influenced by Boulez and Zimmermann as well as by Far Eastern music and philosophy, but who has carved out for himself an unmistakable niche. His Logos Fragments, composed between 2006 and 2009, employs a substantial number of instrumentalists and vocalists in an ever-evolving tapestry of sound. Assembling his texts from St John’s Gospel, the Acts of the Apostles, early Gnostic writings and apocryphal sources which share a common spiritual and religious atmosphere, Zender undertakes an examination of the relationship of language to sound and music, something which has concerned him for many years. The results are fresh and absorbing under Emilio Pomàrico and his impressive Stuttgart forces. While no conventional stereo recording can convey the full range of Zender’s work – for example, the performers are instructed to surround the audience – this CD is an admirable attempt. It’s not an easy listen but is definitely a rewarding one.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica

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