Walter Niemann – Gartenmusik

Walter Niemann (1876-1953) was once considered the leading German composer for piano of his generation. He was that rare bird, a German Impressionist, and was also fascinated by the Orient, with a number of his works reflecting the ethos and history of China and Japan. The Garden Music is dedicated to fellow composer Emile Blanchet and inspired by Oscar Wilde, who provided this quotation that stands at the head of the work:

“They opened a gate of wrought ivory, and I found myself in a watered garden of seven terraces. It was planted with tulip-cups and moonflowers, and silverstudded aloes. Like a slim reed of crystal a fountain hung in the dusky air. The cypress-trees were like burnt-out torches. From one of them a nightingale was singing.”

Oscar Wilde: A House of Pomegranates