In 1998 I had the pleasure of meeting Rosemarie Ammede-Haaf, who was preparing a program of her late husband's Lieder for a concert for the Munich Musicians' Association. Dietrich Ammende was a noted German 20th century composer of German Lieder who came from Munich.
His vocal and orchestral works have been performed by internationally renowned singers such as Hans Hotter, Jan Hendrik Rootering, Keith Engen and leading German orchestras such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. Keith Engen performed his works as part of the Munich Opera Festival recital series in the historic Cuvilliés Theatre, Munich's original royal opera house.
The breadth of Ammende's compositions extended from the Romantic era, through to the Impressionistic and Expressionistic periods and even to the borders of tonality. According to the Neue Musikzeitung - New Music Newspaper obituary of 1981, "Ammende can be numbered without a doubt amongst the most original creators of Lieder of our time."
Keith Engen wrote of the composer: "Dietrich Ammende was and is a creative musician who poured wonderful poems into the most beautiful tones. That is a great deal in our incomplete world."
I felt a deep rapport with Dietrich Ammende and his Lieder from the moment I began to study his compositions.
1998 marked the beginning of a close musical and personal friendship with his widow Rosemarie Ammende-Haaf, which continues to this day. We have presented numerous concerts performing the works of Dietrich Ammende and other composers.
A major highlight of our collaboration was our recital in "Villa Ammende" on the 27th of April 2012, which is the original family estate of the Ammende Family in Pärnu Estonia where Dietrich Ammende spent the summer holidays of his childhood with his grandparents until 1914. Rainer Michael Ammende who is the grandson of Dietrich Ammende was also present on this deeply moving occasion.
It was an honour for me to be invited to be part of this journey back to the origins of the Ammende Family with Rosemarie Ammende-Haaf and Rainer Ammende.
"Villa Ammende" has been lovingly restored to its former glory as built in 1904 by Hermann Leopold Ammende for his daughter Ellen on the occasion of her wedding.
Estonia is a beautiful country and Pärnu on the south west coast and only 125km from Tallinn is an ideal place to spend a summer holiday.