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.
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."