This week we update an unqualified classic that we first aired in 1984!
We rarely devote an entire program to a single artist, but the work of German composer HANS OTTE is so subtle and sophisticated that it really deserves to be heard all by itself. OTTE was born in 1926 and studied in Italy, in German with pianist WALTER GIESEKING, and at Yale University with composer PAUL HINDEMITH. He had a very long career in Germany as a composer and pianist. From 1959 to 1984, he directed the music department at Radio Bremen, where he was an enthusiastic promoter of fellow composers of experimental music and sound art.
THE BOOK OF SOUNDS is the title of his 12-part cycle of pieces for solo piano. He began working on "The Book of Sounds" in 1979 and spent almost three years refining this deceptively simple music. Hans Otte has taken contemporary minimalism with its meditative repetitions, fused it with influences from JOHN CAGE to BACH, and brought it to another level of sensitivity and feeling. Pianist HERBERT HENCK calls it "a milestone of European minimalism."