Fritz Voegelin, Yehoshua Lakner and John Wolf Brennan: three composers with Swiss roots but quite different histories and cultures.

Fritz Voegelin lived and worked in Columbia for many years. Yehoshua Lakner was born in Bratislava and came to Switzerland by way of Israel. John Wolf Brennan often refers to his mother's Irish origins.

CDs of music by these three composers have just been released on separate labels: portraits of Voegelin and Lakner and a joint production featuring Wolf Brennan and Daniele Patumi.

This evening, CH-Musik introduces these new releases...

Tomas Bächli plays piano music by Yehoshua Lakner in a recording for the Anglo-Swiss "Guild Music". Lakner was born in 1924 in Bratislava, emigrated to Palestine in 1941 and has lived in Zurich since 1963. Entitled "Piano Works from Six Decades", the CD presents a variety of pieces ranging from neo-classical miniatures of the forties to the complex formulations of the nineties.

Here are "Three Little Piano Pieces", composed in 1947.

MUSIC: Yehoshua Lakner cd, tracks 1-2; 3 little piano pieces (6'50), Tomas Bächli's performance of Yehoshua Lakner's "Three Little Piano Pieces."

The piano piece "Fermatas" was written exactly 30 years later, in 1977. It exemplifies the kaleidoscopic, non-linear character of Lakner's later work. The frequent pauses let the music linger on in the listener's ear. Soft, crumbling passages fade away in the silence, as do sharp attacks.

MUSIC: Yehoshua Lakner CD, track 9: Fermatas (6"55) "Fermatas" by Yehoshua Lakner.

One-and-half decades later, in 1991/92, Lakner composed "Alef Beth Gimmel", an introspective, timeless work for piano whose sparkling and darkly vibrant sounds are magically evocative.

The composer wrote: "The whole piece is based on three chords - which I call Alef, Beth, Gimmel. Right at the beginning we hear the speech-rhythm of these first three characters of the Hebrew alphabet. The piece consists of fixed and open sections. In the open sections the player has a certain extent of freedom. Every through-composed entity harbours a feigned unity. Variable forms are a way of avoiding that unity because they make every performance unique. Perhaps the spontaneity of the performance might by some happy chance produce true unity."

MUSIC: Yehoshua Lakner CD, track 29: Alef Beth Gimmel (11'15). Tomas Bächli plays Yehoshua Lakner's "Alef Beth Gimmel", the last purely instrumental work by the composer, who has worked exclusively with the computer ever since.

The CD of Lakner's works for piano performed by Tomas Bächli is a "Guild Records" release.