Ian Wilson’s series Scoring History featuring the Vanbrugh Quartet takes audiences on a journey through 200 years of the string quartet canon. Focused on four individual themes – Folk, Distant Lands, Conflict and Solitudes – each of the four concerts is devised to “connect with some of the most important and transformative events in human history” (Ian Wilson).
Scoring History starts on 7 November and takes place every Friday of the month. Among the works performed will be two works from the UE catalogue:
Ian Wilson: towards the Far Country
for string quartet | 30'
14.11.2014, Engineering Library of the National Concert Hall; Vanbrugh Quartet
Ian Wilson: ...wander, darkling
for string quartet | 20'
21.11.2014, Engineering Library of the National Concert Hall; Vanbrugh Quartet
limited approximations does not tell a story. As with all my compositions, there is also no formal development or traditional formal structure. Contrasting elements alternate with one another – moments of smoothness and friction. “Pseudo-glissandi” in the pianos arrive unexpectedly at overtone chords. Apparently stable constellations of intervals begin to falter as the twelfth-tones merge. (Georg Friedrich Haas)
These are the Wiener Konzerthaus’ stage directions for Georg Friedrich Haas’ limited approximations, which will be performed for the first time in Austria this Sunday at Wien Modern by the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg (cond. François-Xavier Roth) and pianists Klaus Steffes-Holländer, Matan Porat, Florian Hoelscher, Julia Vogelsänger, Akiko Okabe and Christoph Grund.
A discussion between Wolfgang Schaufler and the composer will precede the performance.
Read the full work introduction by the composer, listen to an excerpt and view the study score here.
Georg Friedrich Haas: limited approximations
for 6 micro-tonally tuned pianos and orchestra | 30'
national prem. 02.11.2014, Konzerthaus, Vienna; Klaus Steffes-Holländer, Matan Porat, Florian Hoelscher, Julia Vogelsänger, Akiko Okabe, Christoph Grund, pno; SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, cond. François-Xavier Roth
Only one more day until the opening concert of Wien Modern 2014 featuring Georg Friedrich Haas’ concerto grosso No. 2 takes place. Cornelius Meister will conduct the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Klangforum Wien at the Konzerthaus Vienna.
As Wien Modern puts it, “the opening concert will mark the start of a musical journey that will, through the course of the entire festival, take audiences to new sound experiments and beyond” – we are thrilled!
View the full study score of the concerto grosso No. 2.
You’ll find out more about Wien Modern 2014 focal point composer Georg Friedrich Haas in our upcoming newsletter, which is currently in the making – stay tuned.
It’s been 20 years since Harrison Birtwistle’s 2-act opera The Second Mrs Kong was performed for the very first time on 24 October 1994 in Glyndebourne.
When he reviewed the opera’s production of 2004 (which was also the latest production of the work), Andrew Clements of the Guardian described the work as “one of the great operatic achievements of our time.” (Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 11 November 2004).
Earlier, The Second Mrs Kong had received similar praise in Germany when a translated version was staged in 1996:
“eine kongeniale Vermittlung zwischen Tradition und Moderne […] Ein verspielter Geniestreich” (Reinhard J. Brembeck, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 28.02.1996)
“Die zweite Mrs. Kong ist eine Perle unter den neuen Opern – hörfreundlich, amüsant, gefühlig” (Christina Osterwald, Die Rheinpfalz, 12.03.1996)
Happy Birthday Mrs Kong!
There’s also great news for another opera by Birtwistle: director Leonard Prinsloo’s and conductor Walter Kobéra’s Neue Oper Wien production of Punch and Judy has won the Arte Audience Award and the Award for Best Production. Find out more on the website of the Neue Oper Wien.
Watch the production of Punch and Judy on arte:
Ramón Tebar will conduct tonight’s world première of the reduced version of Cristóbal Halffter’s Elegías a la muerte de tres poetas españoles at the Auditorio Nacional de Música. Follow-up performances of the orchestral work are scheduled for on 25 and 26 October.
Cristóbal Halffter: Elegías a la muerte de tres poetas españoles
for orchestra, reduced version | 30'
24.10.2014, Auditorio Nacional de Música, Madrid; Orquesta Nacionales de España, cond. Ramón Tebar
Today, 24 October, would have been Luciano Berio’s 89th birthday.
As you can see on our performance calendar of Berio’s works, the composer’s music is highly valued and frequently performed, and we’d like to draw special attention to the Staatstheater Kassel’s upcoming production of Un re in ascolto, which is scheduled for next May.
Read an extract from Umberto Eco’s article on Luciano Berio published in „Nuove Prospettive” (edited by Angela Ida De Benedictis) in our Musikblätter 4.
Bedford’s shortlisted single-movement work Renewal was premièred on 22 May at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Sian Edwards conducted the London Sinfonietta.
The composer on Renewal:
“Renewal is about creating something new from the rubble of each previous section. The piece is a celebration of renewal and regrowth, written in the full knowledge of its impermanence.”
Fennessy’s Hauptstimme for amplified solo viola and ensemble was first performed in Huddersfield by violist Garth Knox and the Red Note Ensemble (cond. Garry Walker).
Here's a look at the rehearsals of Wolfgang Rihm’s Sound As Will with the Klangforum Wien. The 20-minute piece for trumpet and ensemble will be performed for the very first time at the Donaueschinger Musiktage this Saturday morning, 11:00.
In the photo: conductor Ilan Volkov, composer Wolfgang Rihm, trumpet player Marco Blaauw and members of the Klangforum Wien.
The concert will be broadcast by SWR2, listen live.
The concert starts at 20:00 and will be broadcast by SWR2, listen live.
Cerha on Nacht:
“Composers are expected to operate as men of literature. They are supposed to write introductions to their works, author essays, give lectures. That means there are then musical elements in the foreground which are well presentable using linguistic means, or else – which is more often the case – ideologically and fashionably coloured aspects which are not necessarily crucially germane to the work concerned. Therefore scepticism could indeed be appropriate when considering what composers write; in reality, they are considered an authority in an area in which they are in fact dilettantes.”
Read the composer’s full work introduction.
Friedrich Cerha: Nacht
für Orchester | 20'
17.10.2014, Donaueschingen; SWR-SO Baden-Baden und Freiburg, Dir. Emilio Pomàrico
On the occasion of the Gerhard Richter exhibition at Fondation Beyeler, the renowned Estonian Gregorian chant ensemble Vox Clamantis paid homage to Arvo Pärt this August.
The Fondation Beyeler has uploaded a video of the stunning performance on YouTube:
Pärt had dedicated his choral work Drei Hirtenkinder aus Fátima to Richter, which was performed for the very first time at the exhibition.
Adrian Searle of The Guardian has recently published an article on the art of Gerhard Richter. Richter on his Double Grey paintings and Arvo Pärt: “We tried to make something together. He wrote a composition, and I made these.”
Read the full article on The Guardian.
On 15 October the Japan Art Association in Tokyo presented Arvo Pärt with the prestigious Praemium Imperiale cultural award, considered equal to the Nobel Prize in the field of culture.
Watch a video of the press conference on YouTube:
Read more about the event on the website of the Arvo Pärt Centre.
Find out more about Arvo Pärt on our Blog titled Arvo Pärt in his 80th year.
Can sound alone grasp the feeling of a city?
Vykintas Baltakas’ Lift to Dubai, which was composed in 2009 in the frame of the music project into…, will have its Hungarian première on 16 October at the Budapest Music Center. The première will take place as a part of a fringe event of the Anno 2004… concert, which celebrates ten years of the Péter Eötvös Contemporary Music Foundation.
The concert is preceded by a public meeting with Peter Eötvös, Vykintas Baltakas, Genoël von Lilienstern and Dai Fujikura. A newly revised version of the work for ensemble and electronics will be performed.
Vykintas Baltakas: Lift to Dubai
for ensemble and electronics | 28'
Hungarian prem. 16.10.2014, Budapest Music Center, Budapest; UMZE Kammerorchester, Dir. Ulrich Pöhl
The“tragical comedy or comical tragedy in 1 act” is performed at the Armel Opera Festival at the Erkel Theatre in Budapest.
View the full score of Punch and Judy.
The stream starts in a little less than 6 hours from now, at 19:00 CET/CEST, and will be available until 14 April 2015.
Harrison Birtwistle: Punch and Judy
A tragical comedy or comical tragedy in 1 act | 110'
14.10.2014, Erkel Theatre, Budapest; Jennifer Yoon, Pretty Polly (witch); Manuela Leonhartsberger, Judy (fortune-teller); Richard Rittelmann, Punch; Lorin Wey, Lawyer; Till von Orlowsky, Choregos (Jack Ketch); Johannes Schwendinger, Doctor; Evamaria Mayer, Dancer; Amadeus ensemble-wien, cond. Walter Kobéra