Master of variable form - see also tachles no. 6 - 08.02.02: headline of the week p. 27 of GRO

Yehoshua LAKNER

Kopf der Woche
Piano Works from Six Decades
at the piano Tomas Bächli and Petra Ronner; Guild Music Ltd. 

GUILD MUSIC GMCD 7214 [67:32] 

Music-lovers with an ear for the unusual will thoroughly enjoy Yehoshua Lakner's CD - over and over again..

... some of them were written when the Israeli-Swiss composer was only 22...

... for example "Cornerstones", dedicated to his son Yahli - 19 contrapuntal studies both tranquil and tense. As the years pass, this musical idiom becomes increasingly abstract... "... pure, sounding structure, resulting from a playful attitude towards rules and sonic material..." as expressed by no less a person than the distinguished music critic Alfred Zimmerlin in the sleeve text.

Born in Bratislava in 1924, Lakner completed his studies as an emigré at the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv. Scholarships to the USA and Germany paved his way to Zurich, where he has lived since 1963. Until 1971 Lakner wrote all the incidental music to Maria von Ostfelden's celebrated productions at the Theater an der Winkelwiese. A CD of Lakner's music-collages accompanies Lars Müller Verlag's illustrated book about her. Lakner taught at the Zurich conservatory until the mid-eighties. Since then he has devoted all his energy and passion to computer music and his "audiovisual time-structures", music-inspired sequences of colour of overwhelming poetry and power.

The climax of the CD, according to Zimmerlin, is "Alef, Beth, Gimmel", composed in 1991/92 - Lakner's last purely instrumental work to date. Zimmerlin recalls the 119th Psalm, whose skillfully crafted sections begin with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. "... the creative power behind every letter from Alef to Tau. We sense it directly, sensuously, in the first chords of the piece, which echo the "Alef-Beth-Gimmel" rhythm. And we sense its presence in the entire work. Gabi Rosenberg