Zeitstrahl und Zeitkreis - zwei scheinbar gegensätzliche Modelle der Zeit, musikalisch umgesetzt für Streichorchester. Die Capella Istrapolitana spielt unter der Leitung von Jaroslav Krcek, „Cycle“ mit der Cembalistin Daniela Ruso. „Arrow“: „Der einmal gewählte Weg gewinnt seine eigene Dynamik“ (Hamel), fünf ineinander übergehende Sätze, z.T. an Ravels Streichquartett, z.T. an Mahlers Symphonik erinnernd. „Cycle“: „Das Ende am Anfang, schliesslich klingen alle vier Themen zusammen“. Beide Kompositionen entstanden 1988, die erste auf der indischen Insel Manori, die zweite in Irland. „Diese Stunde für Saiteninstrumente wurde von meinem Verleger Eckart Rahn angeregt und entstand in Erinnerung an eine zehnjährige, fruchtbare Zusammenarbeit.“ (Hamel).

the project

A philosophical dichotomy is the theme of composer Peter Michael Hamel's inspired and beautiful works, The Arrow of Time/The Cycle of Time. In these two exquisite scores, he explores mankind's two great concepts of time: first, that time is an arrow pointing forever toward the future, and second, that time is cyclic, forever repeating itself. These two tenets have shaped man's beliefs and understanding of the world. Music is the perfect medium for the exploration of such concepts, as music is itself inexorably linked to time, the beat of the music linked to the beat of the clock. Music, like time, is subjective and mysterious.

The first composition, The Arrow of Time, is a dynamic piece, sometimes strong and at other moments gentle, but always perceptive. Its five movements build on a central motif introduced at the onset. The Cycle of Time, with its unusual harpsichord renderings, is a more flowing work in four movements. Both pieces are undeniably stirring and demonstrative.

Although Hamel is a modern composer known for his complex musical substance, his complexity in no way overshadows the dramatic emotion of these two works. The Arrow of Time and The Cycle of Time are remarkably accessible pieces, which the listener can enjoy independently or as a duality.

The musicianship on this recording is unsurpassed. The orchestra and conductor are Czechoslovakian, and unequivocally masters. With the opening of Eastern Europe, this is the first time these superb musicians have recorded a modern composer's works for release worldwide. The engineering, likewise, is of the utmost quality. Included in the CD booklet is an extensive essay on the philosophical concepts of time. These elements together create an artistic triumph.

the composer

German-born Peter Michael Hamel, a student of psychology and sociology as well as music, has long been fascinated with the concept of time. Two previous compositions, Silence Beyond Time and Colours of Time, both focus on this theme. Hamel writes that he composed The Arrow of Time in one stream, without revisions, almost in real time, and that the title refers to the subject matter as well as the compositional method. Hamel explains that for him, composing is anticipating the music, and that the composer, with alert attention, listens to his music and lets it happen. He says of his pieces, "The work as a whole should demonstrate the utopia of conciliatory existence."




1 The Arrow of Time 33'37"
2 The Cycle of Time 34'29"
  Total Time: 68'19"