Zimmermann's Die Soldaten

The Lincoln Center Festival in New York is presenting Bernd Alois Zimmermann's opera Die Soldaten in what looks to be an amazing production. The New York Times is showing a video clip presenting the massive preparations which are involved.

As Daniel J. Wakin states in a related article: 

“It is one of the monuments of 20th-century music,” said David Pountney, the stage director. “You can say, ‘I don’t like it,’ but you can’t ignore it. It’s the end point of 12-tone music, really.”

Zimmermann, who died in 1970, served in the German Army during World War II. He began writing the opera in 1957, and it had its first performance in Cologne eight years later. Sarah Caldwell’s Opera Company of Boston presented its American premiere in 1982, and it was next performed in this country in 1991, at New York City Opera.

The Lincoln Center Festival imported this production from the Ruhr Triennale in Germany, which produces works in industrial spaces. Nigel Redden, the festival director, declined to disclose the cost, but it has clearly siphoned off resources. The festival has said that it reduced the scope of offerings this summer because of the size of “Die Soldaten.”

Of interest to us sax players, of course, is the inclusion of an alto sax part in the massive orchestral forces which accompany the 6 solo voices. 

I envy anyone who will take the opportunity to see this piece. It looks so amazing.

You can check out the video clip here and read Wakin's  article "The Brutality of War, on a Big Stage" here.