bavarian radio symphony orchestra with Peter Rundel

Friday, 22 November 2019 | Herkulessaal in the residency of Munich | 8 pm

Introductory talk: 6.45 pm


Hans Zender © Astrid Ackermann

HANS ZENDER 22.11.1936* 23.10.2019†

We mourn the loss of Hans Zender, a great composer and conductor, and a long-standing friend and supporter of the musica viva des Bayerischen Rundfunks.

Munich, 23.10.2019
Winrich Hopp



Klaus Ospald [*1956]

Más raíz, menos criatura
for orchestra, piano and 8-voice chamber chorus [2016]
on a poem by Miguel Hernández
Performed at the awards ceremony of the “Happy New Ears” Composition Prize, awarded to Klaus Ospald by the Hans and Gertrud Zender Foundation.

Hans Zender [*1936]

33 Veränderungen über 33 Veränderungen
A “composed interpretation” of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations for orchestra [2011]
German première of the revised version


Singer Pur
Claudia Reinhard, soprano
Anna-Lena Elbert, soprano
Mayumi Takagi, alto
Christian Meister, tenor
Markus Zapp, tenor
Manuel Warwitz, tenor
Reiner Schneider-Waterberg, baritone
Jan Kuhar, bass

Markus Bellheim, piano

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Peter Rundel, conductor

about the Programme

At the musical flashpoint: distant realms and a monument

On one side is Miguel Hernández’s elegy El niño yuntero (1937), on a child who perishes at work while harnessed to a plough. Hernández, the son of a goatherd, was a leading poet of the Spanish Republic. On the other side is an enjoyable waltz of 1819 by Antonio Diabelli, together with Beethoven’s trailblazing set of piano variations on that very same waltz. These antithetical, historically remote starting points have inspired two expansive pieces of our own time, promising to make the opening concert of the new musica viva season a special experience.

Más raíz, menos criatura (“More root than human being”) is a work for orchestra, piano and eight-voice vocal ensemble by Klaus Ospald (b. Münster, 1956). It once again demonstrates his uncanny ability to create multi-layered, even symbiotic connections between literature and music, language and sound. Ospald uses Hernández’s poetry to reflect on the timeless nature of the condition humaine in music of existential force. Zender, in contrast, succeeds in grafting the sting of topical revolutionary relevance into a seminal work of Viennese classicism. In his “composed interpretation” of the Diabelli Variations, the piano is wholly subsumed in the multi-coloured sonic universe of the orchestra. More than that, Zender’s alterations to the original musical fabric, now subtle, now striking, offer refreshing new vantage points for listening to this masterpiece.

Zender’s special concern is to cultivate a lively and up-to-date musical culture, a cause he has successfully championed as a composer, conductor and writer – and as the founder of the “Happy New Ears” Prize. In 2019 Klaus Ospald, a composer who lives and teaches in Würzburg, will become the fifth person to win this prize. Zender once claimed that the “true challenge of modernism is to lend shape to plurality”. It is an idea to which the opening concert of Bavarian Radio’s music viva season does full justice.

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