“Everything comes to me without effort, technically it all comes very easily & in the end I feel I’ve produced something worthwhile.” writes Alexander Zemlinsky in a letter to Arnold Schönberg on A Florentine Tragedy.
Exactly one hundred years ago, Zemlinsky’s gripping one-act opera was premièred at the Stuttgart State Theatre by Max von Schillings
In 2015 Roland Freisitzer arranged a chamber version of the opera. This chamber version makes do with just 20 instruments (optionally with string sections).
Panopticon continues a line of enquiry present in pieces of mine beginning with graft (1999) for string quartet through to Hauptstimme (2013) for solo viola and ensemble, and Hirta Rounds (2015) for sixteen unconducted strings – namely the role of the individual within a larger, group setting and particularly, the functions of leaders and followers. (David Fennessy)
The shortlist for the first Scottish Awards for New Music has been announced! Congratulations to David Fennessy whose work Panopticon for string sextet and cimbalom has been nominated for the Dorico Award for Small/medium Scale Work.
Distracted from his composing and iconoclasm by the necessity of earning some money, a young Pierre Boulez found work with a Parisian theatre company. Three trips he made with them to South America changed him and his music forever. (Robert Worby, The Guardian, 26 January 2017)
Listen to “Boulez and his Rumble in the Jungle”, a programme by Robert Worby, on BBC Radio 3 on 29 January at 19:45 CET.
The programme will be available on iPlayer for 30 days.
Congratulations to Pierre-Laurent Aimard for being awarded the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize 2017!
In January 2015, we talked to Aimard about Pierre Boulez – you can watch the whole interview below:
The Italian magazine Classic Voice recently announced Georg Friedrich Haas’ work in vain to be the “most beautiful score of the new millennium” – the result of a survey in which 130 experts of European contemporary music participated.
You can watch a five-minute introduction to in vain – recorded in 2016 in Valencia – here:
The first-ever festival in North America dedicated to the music of Arvo Pärt runs from 5 to 12 February. The Arvo Pärt Festival takes place in Portland, Oregon and is presented by the Cappella Romana.
From the press release:
The Arvo Pärt Festival features eight (8) live performances of music by Arvo Pärt with chamber music (including Spiegel im Spiegel), the complete organ works, a cappella choral works (including selections of the Kanon Pokajanen), a late-night performance of the Passio by candlelight, the Missa Syllabica sung in a Latin mass, and a festival finale featuring Pärt’s Te Deum for three choirs, strings, and prepared piano, Da Pacem Domine (commissioned by Jordi Savall in memory of the victims of the Madrid terrorist bombings in 2004), and the US premiere of Alleluia-Tropus celebrating St. Nicholas.
The live events of the festival will be preceded with a screening of the new film “Arvo Pärt: Even if I lose everything” at Whitsell Auditorium, NW Film Center.
Congratulations! Georg Friedrich Haas’ in vain wins the new music hit parade of Classic Voice – find out more in this [Italian] article on Corriere Della Sera.
Today’s opening concerts that mark the start of a three-week festival celebrating the opening of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg can be watched in a 360 degree live stream.
Among the works performed is the world première of Wolfgang Rihm’s Reminiszenz | Triptychon und Spruch in memoriam Hans Henny Jahnn.
Watch the opening concert live here:
It’s an impressive disc, the selections presenting the composer at his finest, and all performed with precision and feeling, and recorded at the high standards associated with the BIS label, still laudably loyal to the SACD format. (Gavin Dixon, Classical CD Reviews)
Gavin Dixon of Classical CD Reviews on “Franz Schreker: Orchestral Music from the Operas”.
The record is published by BIS Records and has recently been nominated for the Swedish Grammy Awards for classical music.
Today marks the birthday of Franz Schmidt, who was born on 22 December 1874 in Preßburg.
In his Guardian-article “How Franz Schmidt became the composer that history forgot” Gavin Plumley pointed out why it is time to listen to the composer’s works afresh.
You can view the full study score of Schmidt’s Symphony No. 2 on Universal Edition for free:
Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Gruppen for 3 orchestras will be performed on 23 December at the Miyakomesse in Kyoto by the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra with conductors Junichi Hirokami, Ken Takaseki and Tatsuya Shimono.
The work was performed for the very first time in March 1958 when it was conducted by Pierre Boulez, Bruno Maderna and Stockhausen himself.
If we want to understand other nations, we first must understand ourselves. There is no better means for this than folk music. Getting acquainted with the folk songs of other countries is the best way to get acquainted with other peoples. (Zoltán Kodály)
Happy birthday, Zoltán Kodály. The composer was born today in 1882.
Read Mihály Ittzés’ essay on Zoltán Kodály with the title “A patriot, not a nationalist” – from which the above quote is taken – on our MusikSalon:
José Luis López-Linares’ documentary film “Bosch: The Garden of Dreams”, produced by LópezLiFilms and the Prado Museum, features music by Arvo Pärt.
Watch the trailer here: