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PICTURES OF IMAGINARY WINDSCAPES for Symphonic Wind Orchestra by Frank Zabel (Germany, 1968)

[#191] March 20, 2023

2001 | Wind Orchestra | Grade 5 | 15'-20' | Tone poem

German composer and pianist Frank Zabel

Pictures of imaginary windscapes, by German composer and pianist Frank Zabel is our Composition of the Week.

Pictures of imaginary windscapes, was written between 1999 and 2001, and it is dedicated to Franz Schulte-Huermann and his orchestra Westfalen Winds, on whose suggestion the work was written.

The second movement (Vivace furioso) was premiered by Westfalen Winds on March 11, 2000, at the Kulturhaus Lüdenscheid, Germany.

The world premiere, as well as the Swiss premiere of the complete work, was performed by the LBO Baden-Württemberg under Walter Ratzek at the Bundesmusikfest on June 3, 2001, Friedrichshafen, Germany, as well as at the WASBE International Conference on July 12, 2001, in Lucerne.

Pictures of imaginary windscapes is composed after a previous version for symphony orchestra of 1996. A version of the latter for chamber ensemble (1999/2000) is also available.

It is structured in three movements, 1. Andante Pittoresco; 2. Vivace Furioso; 3. Adagio Lamentoso, with an overall duration of around 18 minutes.

Pictures of imaginary windscapes is scored for: 2.Picc.2. Ehrn.3. EbCl.BCl.2. Cbsn.Sax(4)/44412.Timpani. String Bass. Harpe. Piano. Perc. (5)

(Snare Drum, Tam-Tam, Triangle, Antique Cymbals, Xylophone, Glockenspiel, Vibraphone, Woodblock, Vibraslap, Suspended Cymbals, Congas (3), Bongos, Bass Drum, ratchet.)

Frank Zabel graduated in piano with Pi-hsien Chen and music theory with Friedrich Jaecker and Roland Löbner at the Cologne Musikhochschule. He has been Professor of music theory at the Robert Schumann Hochschule in Düsseldorf since 2001.

Regular performances of his music take place at international festivals and concert halls worldwide, including Berliner Philharmonie, Konzerthaus Wien, World Music Days, Warsaw Autumn, Darmstadt Ferienkurse, Gaudeamus Competition, Aalto Theater Essen, Konzerthaus Luzern, Philharmonie Essen, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Nationaloper Lissabon, De Doelen Rotterdam, Ny Musikk Oslo, Gasteig München, Beethovenhalle Bonn, Frauenkirche Dresden, Vienna Saxfest, ClarinetFest Madrid.

He has received composition commissions from the WDR, BR, SR, Berliner Philharmonie, Bonner Beethovenfest, Gustav Mahler Akademie Bozen, Ensemble Aventure, Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, Theater Gütersloh, Vienna Piano Trio, Dortmund Philharmoniker and many others.

Frank Zabel has been prizewinner in numerous international composition competitions. He also performs as a piano soloist and chamber music partner. Several CDs of Frank Zabel’s music are available.


Other works for winds include:

  • Scherzo Fantastique, for Tenorhorn and Brass Band (2016)

  • Aria Variata, for Brass ensemble and organ (2016)

  • …aus den träumenden Büchern (2014), for wind orchestra

  • Doppelkonzert, for 2 pianos, winds, and percussion (2012)

  • Sinfonische Variationen “Hommage à Prokofieff”, for symphonic wind orchestra (2001/2002)

More on Frank Zabel


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