|Walther Vocal Music|
Heinrich Ernst Erwin Walther (1920–1995) must not only be considered one of the pioneers of graphic scores, as the phenomenon was far more than a passing fad in his case. Correlations between visual art and music had been a central aspect of his work from the start. He had made his first attempts at graphic notation as early as 1938, while still a student of conducting at the Würzburg Conservatory. In 1949, after the war and captivity, he made his debut as a pianist in Nuremberg with improvisations on drawings by Franz Xaver Fuhr. From the mid-1950s on – continuing until his death – Walther produced what he termed “audiograms”. More than 300 of this graphic scores have survived – and, as can be heard on the present CD, they are among the most inspiring examples of the genre. That they have remained virtually unknown is due not least to the character of a composer who scarcely seemed interested in any more than regional renown; one could almost say that he stubbornly obstructed the dissemination of his own works.
These two CDs show the music’s stylistic breadth that Walther was a composer who was acutely aware of contemporary idioms, but also that he found, with a certain quirkiness and sense for hidden meanings, a path of his own which did not follow any one aesthetic tendency.