Alfons Karl Zwicker

22.04.1952

Alfons Karl Zwicker was born in St Gallen and received his education in piano from Hadassa Schwimmer at Winterthur Conservatory and Werner Bärtschi in Zurich. He studied composition in the classes of Rudolf Kelterborn in Basel and Edison Denissow in Lucerne and received his Master of Advanced Studies in Arts Management from Basel University. He is a composer giving particular regard to opera, vocal and orchestral music; the human voice with its musical, language and dramaturgic possibilities is central to his compositional work. These elements he combines and the result is in an almost archaeological discourse with literature. His predominantly cyclical works develop from pieces in preparation for, on reflection of, or detached from his opera projects. The opera or the music theatre (in it’s widest sense) is central to Zwicker’s work, the content is always reduced to a main offender - victim theme and the resulting question of guilt; the human being - the humane resp. inhumane - is a central figure. The composer also works as a painter and designer, the resulting works are in direct reference to his conceptual formulae for composition; they are visual and spatial representations of musical structures, musical processes and the implicit ideas thereof, visual analyses defined by structure and association and a non verbal approach to the secrets, the laws and plans of music. The whole is based on a critical position in relation to language, particularly in the sense of the mistrust and its misuse in the explanation of music. In the context of this music - painting - music reciprocity there develops a constant array of instrumental pieces “as the sound of image and form”.

Alfons Karl Zwicker
Postfach 634
CH-9004 St. Gallen
Fon: +41 (0)79 718 12 54
Fax: +41 (0)71 298 08 50
E-mail: composer@ak-zwicker.ch
Web: http://www.ak-zwicker.ch


Samples:


Scores


Nachtduett (1989/90)
20'
Cycle with poems by Georg Trakl
for mezzo-soprano, bass, flute, harpsichord, four violins, viola, violoncello and double bass
Order No: 8202, sFr. 83.00
An erotic, sticky piece that takes the incestuous relationship between Trakls and his sister as its theme. 'Nachtduett' is a series of scenic poems predestined for the stage.

Erfrorene Träume (1990/92)
29'
Cycle based on poems by Josef Kopf
for mezzo-soprano and ensemble (fl(pic).cl(bcl)/hp.pf.hpd/2vn.va.vc.db)
Order No: 8204, sFr. 78.00
Large-scale song cycle in which the metaphors of ice, cold and freezing are centralised. The leading part for the mezzo-soprano is extremely demanding in the emotional and technical areas. (Vocal range e# - b").

Pilgerfahrt zu blauen Eisziegeln (1990/93)
8'
for Baritone and piano
Order No: 8203, sFr. 23.00
Two songs based on the later poems of Josef Kopf. A compromised winter journey: Death - congealment.

Rituale für Fada (1994)
54'
for string quartet
Order No: 8206, sFr. 65.00
Large-scale string quartet that opens a discourse on the African way of making music, be it vocally or instrumentally. This piece is based on rituals still alive in Togo today. ‘Fada’ is Togolian and means ‘Father’. Fada is clergyman Karl Rohrbach, who has offered his exemplary services for development aid in Togo for more than twenty years. The strings also play pedal drums, rattles and blow a whistle. The third passage is to be performed with live electronic.
Listen: Youtube

Tropfen auf Stein (1995)
30'
Cycle based on poems by Elisabeth Heck
for baritone, flute (pic, afl, bfl), harp, piano, one percussion and viola
Order No: 8207, sFr. 62.00
Very introspective and contemplative song cycle with an increasingly ruminant character. A very subtle and diversified sound world whose centre is the metaphor of stone in all its varieties.

Vom Klang der Bilder: III. Gegenklänge (1988/89 (rev. 1993))
13'
Cycle
for large orchestra and piano solo (2.2.3.2/3.2.3.1/4perc/hp/24.6.6.4(five stringed))
Order No: 8216, sFr. 65.00
‘Vom Klang der Bilder’ (from the sound of images): An orchestral cycle based on pictures by Buchholz, Klee, Kandinsky, Klein and Fruhtrunk. The five pieces span a cyclic arch that is anchored in the laws of life. I. ‘Blutgesang’ (blood song): destruction, swan song, tears, sadness, grievance II. ‘Choral und Landschaft’ (choral landscape): hope, confidence, humbleness, belief, nature III. ‘Gegenklänge’ (a mediant): re-polarisation, existence of contradictions IV. ‘Monochromes Blau’ (monochrome blue): Movement in statics, pause, mediation, illusion, paradise on earth V. ‘Orgelpunkt’ (pedal point): painful recurrence of the same in being different.

Vom Klang der Bilder: IV. Monochromes Blau (1987/96)
13'
Cycle
for large orchestra and piano solo (2.2.3.2/3.2.3.1/4perc/hp/24.6.6.4(five stringed))
Order No: 8217, sFr. 57.00
‘Vom Klang der Bilder’ (from the sound of images): An orchestral cycle based on pictures by Buchholz, Klee, Kandinsky, Klein and Fruhtrunk. The five pieces span a cyclic arch that is anchored in the laws of life. I. ‘Blutgesang’ (blood song): destruction, swan song, tears, sadness, grievance II. ‘Choral und Landschaft’ (choral landscape): hope, confidence, humbleness, belief, nature III. ‘Gegenklänge’ (a mediant): re-polarisation, existence of contradictions IV. ‘Monochromes Blau’ (monochrome blue): Movement in statics, pause, mediation, illusion, paradise on earth V. ‘Orgelpunkt’ (pedal point): painful recurrence of the same in being different.
Listen: Youtube

Postludien (1995/97)
19'
for violin and piano
Order No: 8209, sFr. 39.00
Ironic, humorous, partly satirical, character pieces. The title and musical thoughts spring from graphic variations on the violin clef. The drawings are by the composer; the originals are available for inspection from the composer. musikalisch 2’ gemächlich 6’ verschämt 5’ con fuoco 3’ romantisch 3’

Kosmogramm I (1998/99)
25'
for piano solo
Order No: 8211, sFr. 47.00
An expansive and very demanding piece taking the main outlines and aims of the age of Aquarius as its theme.

Konstellation mit Mondtransit (1998/99)
16'
for soprano, violin, trombone, violoncello, clarinet and piano
Order No: 8213, sFr. 55.00
A piece with aperspective performance practice. The ever-changing aspects on the radix planets (instrumentalists) by the transitory moon (soprano) are made audible.

Erinnerung an Nelly Sachs (1999)
17'
for two flutes, harpsichord and female voice
Order No: 8214, sFr. 39.00
Text: Nelly Sachs Tracing the characters in sand. Dismantled word sounds emerge and disappear - only guessing remains. The text particles are in strict rhythmic notation and are spoken as “speechsound”, only at the end is the voice recognised as a singing voice.


Discs


Alfons Karl Zwicker / Bruno Karrer
Alfons Karl Zwicker: Erfrorene Träume
Bruno Karrer: Mäander
(Ensemble Plus)


stv/asm 007
SME/EMS Order Nr.: 115
Price CHF: 30.-

Alfons Karl Zwicker: Vom Klang der Bilder
Alfons Karl Zwicker: Vom Klang der Bilder
(Peter Waters; Bohoslav Martinu Philharmonie Zlin; Monica Buckland Hofstetter)


Musiques Suisses MGB 6151
SME/EMS Order Nr.: 50
Price CHF: 30.-

Arioso-Quartett St. Gallen
Bruno Karrer: Zur Aneignung
Othmar Schoeck: Streichquartett D-Dur, op. 23
Alfons Karl Zwicker: Rituale für Fada
(Arioso-Quertett)


classic 2000 C 2/9
SME/EMS Order Nr.: 11
Price CHF: 39.- (2 CDs)

Orchestermusik
Alfred Schweizer: Orchesterstück Nr. 3
Alfons Karl Zwicker: Monochromes Blau
Alfons Karl Zwicker: Choral und Landschaft
Francesco Hoch: Il Mattino dopo
(Symphonisches Orchester Zürich; Daniel Schweizer)


classic 2000 C 2/6
SME/EMS Order Nr.: 9
Price CHF: 30.-



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