Walter Baer


- Born in Zurich
- Studies at the Zurich conservatory (piano diploma)
- Composition under the tutelage of Paul Müller and later Rudolf Kelterborn
- Piano studies under Czeslaw Marek
- Musicological studies in various European countries and the USA
- Teacher of school music at a college in Zurich and a teacher-training seminar
1974 until 1993 - Head of the school music department at the conservatory and music school of Zurich
- Produced more than 80 works in various genres over the years, including some commissioned pieces; works performed nationally and internationally
- The piece "Meeting" won the first prize at the ten Swiss cities composition competition and was performed in 1976 at the Lucerne Festival
1985 & 1987 - Guest composer with performances at the Bowling Green State University's New Music Festival, Ohio (USA).
1992 - Prize for composition from the Union of European Choral Federations for "Der gefrorene Christ"
- Invitations to give presentations at schools of music and universities in Germany, Austria and Turkey.
- Several world premieres of large choral works at the Ljubliana Philharmonic with the Slovenian Chamber Choir and a series of various works for chamber orchestra in Sofia, Plovdiv and other Bulgarian cities.
Nov 2005 - Performance in the largest Swiss cities of the double concert "Cantus Gemellus" for violin and orchestra with the soloists Deborah Marchetti and Mario Hossen together with the Scala Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Jean-Bernard Pommier
April 2007 - Performance of the commissioned piece "Ushuaia, Himno por la Paz" at the Ushuaia International Music Festival, Argentina, by the Berlin Philharmonic under the direction of Claude Villaret.
- Tribute to the composer by the city of Ushuaia
- Lives in Zurich and Paris

Walter Baer
Schlösslistr. 12
CH-8044 Zürich
Fon: +41 (0)44 362 59 25



Neun kleine Klavierstücke (nine small piano pieces) (1949/90)
Order No: 0215, sFr. 23.00
Easy to intermediate level piano pieces, which are also suitable for tuition.

Threnos, Hymnos (1968)
Two piano pieces
Order No: 0201, sFr. 13.00
Both piano pieces point towards two realms of experience. Free rhythmical sequences alternate with metrically fixed ones in the mourning song, whereas the hymn presents bold tremoli followed by fanfare-like unisono sounds. A clearly articulated space/time feeling is achieved by using unusual playing techniques.
Listen: Youtube

From Unreality to Unreality (1972)
for soprano, three flutes and three clarinets
Order No: 0202, sFr. 34.00
Texts: Jorge Manrique, Paul Eluard, Georg Philipp Harsdörffer, T.S. Eliot In this composition, four texts from different authors, languages and historical origin have been used, but all bear on the same theme: the fragility of existence, the problem of the concept of reality. A work of meditation, floating and fragile, it hints at the irrational in both ist vocal and instrumental sounds. The Soprano sings in Spanish, French, German and English.

Meeting (1974)
for four instrumental groups (
Order No: 0204, sFr. 34.00
This piece features differing instrumental groups manifesting three timbres. Together they form a connection with, and at the same symbolise, the various aspects of human behaviour. A fourth, less homogeneous group, gradually prevails.

Fünf Sätze für Klarinette, Violine und Violoncello (five movements for clarinet, violin and violoncello) (1974)
Order No: 0203, sFr. 18.00
These five short movements require a very sensitive interpretation - already obvious from the detailed notation. Composed in an atonal style, it features rhythmic and articulatory differentiated structures.

Desolatio Marsyae (1975)
for three recorders (one player)
Order No: 0205, sFr. 13.00
The 'Desolation of Marsyas' relates to the Greek saga. The simultaneous playing of two recorders is evocative of the Aulos with its double reed. It is possible to achieve a feeling of the desperate, tricky, competition between the aulete and the Apollon citharode by using various unconventional playing techniques.

Somnium Daedali (1976)
for tenor/bass trombone and piano
Order No: 0206, sFr. 26.00
The Dream of Daedalus is a vision of the inventor of momentous creations such as flying machines or the labyrinth. We hear amorphous material confronted by predictable structures in several sequences. An extremely differentiated handling of sound.

Sonatina Nostalgica (1977)
for violin and piano
Order No: 0218, sFr. 23.00
(violin part: sFr. 12.-; € 8.00)

Inventio Mercurii (1977)
for violoncello solo
Order No: 0207, sFr. 16.00
This piece is occupied with the discovery of the sonorous sounds of the string instruments (Hermes resp. Mercury discovered a rich sound, using the shell of a tortoise as a resonance chamber). Beginning with poorly resonating tones, and using appropriate playing techniques, the grand tone of modern instruments gradually develops.

Konzert für Violine und Orchester (concert for violin and orchestra) (1987)
Order No: 0209, sFr. 62.00
(violin part available from the SME: Sfr. 12.-; € 8.00)
The violin concerto succeeds thanks to its sonorous and atmospheric sound world, and without a need to rely on traditional forms and structures.

Elegie (1988)
for horn quartet and string orchestra
Order No: 0225, sFr. 31.00

Fragments of a Dream (1989)
for alto saxophone and piano
Order No: 0226, sFr. 26.00
(saxophone part: sFr. 16.-; € 16.-)
The title relates to the dream experiences of Indians.

Der gefrorene Christ (1990)
for soprano and mixed a-cappella choir
Order No: 0210, sFr. 26.00
The simple notation combines with the texts by Gottfried Keller and Angelus Silesius to produce a multi-faceted musical statement. High-demands in intonation.

La joie de vivre (1992 / 2004)
Three musical perspectives
for flute and string orchestra
Order No: 0249, sFr. 34.00
Three different perspectives of a single picture bearing the same title by Picasso. Préludes pour Antipolis - La danse des animaux - La danseuse nue. String orchestra: (all voices excluding the db are also divided).

Ouvertüre für ein ungewisses Ereignis (1995)
for large orchestra (
Order No: 0227, sFr. 44.00
(orchestral material can be borrowed from the composer)
A piece for the fictive re-opening of the bricked-up Golden Gate in Jerusalem. This gate plays a different role in the myths of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

Passagen I (1996)
Three piano pieces
Order No: 0213, sFr. 18.00
Widmung - Sonnenbild - Epitaph für Anton Webern form the first part of a cycle. The pieces differ in style and assertion. With a short commentary.
Listen: Youtube

Babel (1996)
for clarinet in E-flat, basset horn and bass clarinet
Order No: 0212, sFr. 26.00
As well as a symbol of self-indulgence (building of the tower) and speechlessness (confusion of speech) Babel also stands for hope and a longing for happiness. The musical core is created by the melody B-A-B-E-soL (sol = G).

Passagen II (1997)
Three piano pieces
Order No: 0214, sFr. 18.00
Integraal, The Sunpainter’s Delight and Nachhall begin this series of short piano pieces. With a short commentary.
Listen: Youtube

Minne ist so wunderlich (1998)
for soli (SATB), mixed choir and four-handed piano
Order No: 0229, sFr. 44.00
Texts: Johannes Hadlaub.

Passagen III (1998)
Three piano pieces
Order No: 0230, sFr. 21.00
Prélude bien tempéré - Promenade plantée - Souvenir.
Listen: Youtube

Erscheinungen (1999)
for piano
Order No: 0231, sFr. 21.00
Listen: Youtube

A travers les arbres (2001)
for violin, violoncello and piano
Order No: 0246, sFr. 36.00

Das Symposion des Xenophanes (2003)
for soli (AB from the choir) two choirs, flute, oboe, harp percussion and organ
Order No: 0248, sFr. 60.00
Texts: Xenophanes von Kolophon, Marie Luise Kaschnitz The two choirs are situated as far apart as possible. The vocal parts are demanding both for the soloists and the choir.

Winter Music (2004)
for string orchestra
Order No: 0251, sFr. 31.00
1. On the Way 2. Winter’s Tale 3. Koleda

Orphische Gesänge (2005)
for string orchestra
Order No: 0252, sFr. 26.00
Multi-part, single-movement piece.

Cantus Gemellus (2005)
for two solo violins and chamber orchestra (
Order No: 0253, sFr. 29.00
Listen: Youtube

Ushuaia (2006/07)
Himno por la Paz
für Symphonieorchester (2,2,2,2 - 4,2,3,1 - Pk, Schlgz - Str)
Order No: 0254, sFr. 47.00
Multi-part, single-movement piece.

Concerto (2007)
for alto saxophone, string orchestra, harp, vibraphone and marimbaphone
Order No: 0255, sFr. 52.00

Evocation (2008)
for string orchestra
Order No: 0256, sFr. 26.00

Konzertstück (2004/09)
for piano and large orchestra (2(2.pic)
Order No: 0258, sFr. 65.00
(Piano score: sFr. 52.-; € 40.-)
Multi-part, single-movement piece with solo cadence.

Klarinetten-Oktett (clainet octet) (2010)
for Eb clarinet, 3 clarinets in B, 2 basset horns, 2 bass clarinets
Order No: 0257, sFr. 34.00
(sounding or transposed score)

Lichtspuren (2011)
for harp and piano
Order No: 0259, sFr. 44.00
This duo is composed of several parts differing in character, tempo and meter. The parts are to be performed atacca.

Zwielicht (2011)
for piano
Order No: 0260, sFr. 18.00
Virtuosic single-part piano piece. The title refers to a lied by Robert Schumann.


The Sunpainter's Delight
Walter Baer:
Passagen I
Passagen III
Threnos - Hymnos
Passagen II
(Andrew Zolinsky, Klavier)

Guild GMCD 7241
SME/EMS Order Nr.: 131
Price CHF: 30.-

CD Quantophon Q 25.359: Somnium Daedali, Threnos, Hymnos, Aoide Seirenon, Tria Skolia, Cahier Anatolien, Sonata nostalgica
CD VDE-Gallo 582: Konzert für Violine und Orchester

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