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Bottenberg, Wolfgang (Heinz Otto)

Bottenberg, Wolfgang (Heinz Otto)

Bottenberg, Wolfgang (Heinz Otto), German-born Canadian composer and teacher; b. Frankfurt am Main, May 9, 1930. He studied theology and philosophy at the Vallender Theologische Hochschule (1952–57), during which time he taught himself music theory and organ performance. In 1958 he emigrated to Canada and in 1964 he became a naturalized Canadian citizen. He studied theory and piano with Robert Stangeland at the Univ. of Alberta (B.Mus., 1961) before completing his training with Huston, Takács, and Cooper at the Univ. of Cincinnati (M.Mus., 1962; D.M.A., 1970). From 1965 to 1973 he taught at the Acadia Univ. in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. In 1973 he joined the faculty of Concordia Univ. in Montreal, where he served as a prof, from 1993 until his retirement in 1997. As a researcher, Bottenberg has worked on a project to evaluate the implications of reading early music from its original mensural notation. In 1993 he issued the first scholarly and complete CD recordings of the compositions of Friedrich Nietzsche. Bottenberg’s music has been significantly influenced by Gregorian chant, Renaissance and Baroque polyphony, and by neo-tonal composers such as Hindemith, but he also makes use of serial, aleatorie, and minimalistic techniques.


DRAMATIC: Opera: Inook (1986). orch.:Passacaglia for Chamber Orch. (1961; rev. 1971); Fantasia for Trumpet and Small Orch. (1966); A Suite of Carols (1967; orchestration of 3 English Carols for Piano Duet, 1963); Sinfonietta (1970; orchestration of Sonata for Piano Duet, 1961); Fantasia Serena (1973; Halifax, Dec. 1, 1980); Concerto for Organ and Small Orch. (1975; Guelph, July 18, 1979); Concertino for Tenor Saxophone and Strings (1989); Festival Overture (1990); Prelude, Aria, and Fugue for Strings (1992; Montreal, April 22, 1993). chamber:Sonata with Variations on a South German Folk Song for 2 Alto Recorders and Piano (1959; rev. 1972); Quartet for Flute, 2 Clarinets, and Bassoon (1960); Trio for Flute, Clarinet, and Piano (1960–63); Trio for Flute, Clarinet, and Bassoon (1963); Variables for Recorder Player, Woodwind Quartet, and String Quintet (1964); Trio for 3 Recorders (1964); Ciacona for Alto Recorder and Harpsichord or Piano (1964; rev. 1977); String Quartet (1968); Divertimento for Flute Quartet (1968); Dialogue for Alto Recorder and Harpsichord or Piano (1971; rev. 1972); Octet (1972; Montreal, Feb. 21, 1985); Fa So La Ti Do Re for Soprano Saxophone or Clarinet and String Quartet (1972; Radio Hilversum, Jan. 17, 1984); Sonata for Flute and Clarinet (1972); Partita for Guitar, Recorder Quartet, and Viola da Gamba (1978); Sonata Modalis for Clarinet or Viola and Piano (Montreal, Nov. 22, 1979); Overture for Broken Consort for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, and Guitar (1981; San Francisco, March 29, 1982); Fanfare for Brass Quintet (1982); 5 for 5 for Woodwind Quintet (1983; Montreal, Feb. 21, 1985); Reflections of Summer for Flute, Viola, and Guitar (1983); Canzona Festiva “O Canada” for 16 Horns (Montreal, Dec. 15, 1989); Suite for Recorder Quartet and Optional Percussion (Montreal, May 17, 1989); Trio for Viola, Cello, and Piano (1991); Toccata for Clarinet and 4 Sound Tracks (1991; also for 5 Clarinets); Partita for 4 Guitars (1993); 2 Preludes and Fugues for String Quartet (1995); Variations for Guitar and Piano (1995); Sonatina for Flute and Piano (1996); Variations for Cello and Piano (1996); Illuminations for Cello and Piano (1996); Canzona for Flute and Piano (1996); Suite for Piano Trio (1998). keyboard: piano: Sonata for Piano Duet (1961; orchestrated as Sinfonietta, 1970); 3 English Carols for Piano Duet (1963; orchestrated as A Suite of Carols, 1967); Moods of the Modes (1973); 3 Sketches (1981); Pieces for Piano Duet (1988); Elements of Nature for 2 Pianos (1990); Drawings of Paul Klee (1998). organ:Triptych (1967); Sonata “Ave Maris Stella” (1990); Partita “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen” (1999). vocal:Duineser Kantate/Duino Cantata for Baritone, Chorus, and Small Orch. (1962); The World is a Rainbow, secular cantata for Soprano or Tenor or Boy Soprano, Chorus, and Woodwind Quintet (1966); Those Passions... Which Yet Survive, cantata for Bass and 7 Instruments (1968); Ritual for Chorus and Orch. (1970); Eine Weihnachtliche Hausmusik for Medium Voice, 2 Alto Recorders, and Piano or Piano Duet (1973); Canadian Madrigals for Chorus (1983); Cunctipotens Genitor Deus for Chorus and Orch. (1990); songs.


Building a Treble Viola da Gamba (Montreal, 1980); ed. Florilegium Cantionum Mensuralium (2 vols., Montreal, 1982); Reading Early Music from Original Notation (Montreal, 1983).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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