Hans Otte Obituary, NMZ 2008

„Mit diesem ‚Buch der Klänge' wird der Hörer wiederentdeckt als Partner von Klang und Stille, der, auf der Suche nach seiner Welt, einfach ganz bei Klängen sein will“ (Otte). Der Musik-Professor der Universität Oldenburg-Bremen schuf mit diesen Klavierstücken ein Werk vergleichbar dem Wohltemperierten Klavier von J.S. Bach: Gegen den Trend der seriellen „Neuen Musik“ einfach und „wohlklingend“, streng und systematisch in Struktur und Form, das Instrument Klavier in seiner Dynamik, seinen (Oberton-) Schwingungen und Klangfarben ausschöpfend, inklusive der Spieltechnik und Spielfreude des Pianisten. Aufnahme von 1983 in der Musikakademie München mit Otte als Solopianist.

the project

The Book of Sounds rediscovers the piano as an instrument of timbre and tuneful sound with all its possibilities of dynamics, color, and resonance. Consisting of twelve pieces composed in the minimalist style, the works are written in a simple consistent texture, without climax or development in the traditional sense. According to Mark Dickson of Sound Choice, "On this album, pianist/composer Hans Otte employs a somewhat serialist approach to explore the solo acoustic piano's range as a harmonic instrument. Conceptually, he is reminiscent of Bach in the Prelude in C from the Well-Tempered Klavier, in that sustained arpeggios are used to give form to minute harmonic changes in the lines. However, stylistically, Otte is more closely aligned with latter-day composers like Philip Glass. The music requires you to listen for changes in harmonic nuance rather than melodic development. Adopting a leisurely cadence, he ties the pieces into seamless lines... A beautiful collection that is equally well-packaged. For piano music collectors, this is a welcome addition."

Rediscover this wonderful collection of warm, beautiful minimalist piano compositions, and become at one with the sound of this deeply introspective music.

the artist

Hans Otte, a student of Hindemith and Gieseking, has received accolades for his solo piano recitals all over Europe. He gained recognition as a composer and pianist early in his career and, in 1959, became head of the music department of Radio Bremen. The demands of his career left him little time for composing, but he did manage to experiment with different music styles. His work has ranged widely from more conventional pieces to semi-minimal pieces, to sound/light environments to video productions, making it difficult for audiences to label him.

Otte started composing The Book of Sounds in 1979, and did not complete it until three years later. He dedicated the recording to "all those who want to draw close to sound, so that, in the search for the sound of sound, for the secret of life, one's own resonance is discovered."



1 Part 1 8'37"
2 Part 2 10'11"
3 Part 3 5'52"

Part 4

5 Part 5 8'25"
6 Part 6 3'15"
7 Part 7 8'39"
8 Part 8 4'29"
9 Part 9 3'42"
10 Part 10 7'53"
11 Part 11 4'57"
12 Part 12 4'40"
  Total Time: 76'00"