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“Beautiful regions beneath”: Haas’ String Quartet No. 8

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 Januar 2015

The JACK Quartet by Justin Bernhaut

“If quartets are usually a conversation, drunken banter appeared to dominate the opening. But gradually, slowly, moments of captivating clarity began to appear, the blurred and often abrasive surface gave way to the cold, beautiful regions beneath.” (Guy Dammann, The Guardian, 21.01.2015)

Guy Dammann on the JACK Quartet’s recent performance of the String Quartet No. 8 by Georg Friedrich Haas at Wigmore Hall, London.

Find the full review on The Guardian.

Stage directions for the Austrian première of limited approximations

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 31 Oktober 2014

limited approximations, stage directions (c) Konzerthaus Wien

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)

Georg Friedrich Haas (c) Astrid AckermannThese 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

Focal points Wien Modern 2014: Georg Friedrich Haas

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 28 Oktober 2014

Georg Friedrich Haas, Wien Modern (c) Substantia Jones

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.

The NYT reviews dark dreams

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 08 Oktober 2014

Georg Friedrich Haas (c) Astrid AckermannThe New York Times’ review of Georg Friedrich Haas’ dark dreams, performed for the first time in America by Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic last Monday, is out.

Find out whether this “fascinating 23-minute piece” managed to persuade the audience on the New York Times.

Rattle brings dark dreams to New York

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 Oktober 2014

Photo: Georg Friedrich Haas (c) Priska Ketterer

The US première of Georg Friedrich Haas’ dark dreams takes place tonight, 6 October, at Carnegie Hall in New York with Simon Rattle conducting the Berlin Philharmonic.

We’ve prepared a two-minute audio excerpt, an interview between Georg Friedrich Haas and Karsten Witt and also the full digital score for you.

Watch an excerpt of dark dreams:

Hear and Now: Georg Friedrich Haas

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 September 2014

Georg Friedrich Haas (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

On Saturday at 22:30 CET/CEST, Robert Worby presents a focus on Georg Friedrich Haas, with performances recorded earlier this year. On the programme: Introduktion und Transsonation (Klangforum Wien, cond. Ilan Volkov), the Concerto for baritone saxophone and orchestra (Marcus Weiss, sax; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, cond. Ilan Volkov) and the String Quartet No.2 (Arditti Quartet).

BBC Radio 3Listen to Hear and Now on BBC Radio 3.

Haas’ Ein Schattenspiel in South Africa

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 09 September 2014

Jill Richards (c) Jill Richards

Jill Richards, South African concert pianist and an acclaimed performer of new piano music, will perform Georg Friedrich Haas’ Ein Schattenspiel on 11 September at this year’s Unyazi Festival, which is part of the Fak’ugesi Digital Africa festival, in Johannesburg.

The concert pianist writes about her experiences with Ein Schattenspiel on her (highly recommended) blog:

But of course the interesting thing about Ein Schattenspiel is the real time sound processing. What I play is picked up, delayed, pitch shifted upwards by 50 cents and then played back. I am playing with myself, and need to read the “other” piano part so as to play in time with it. This is pretty interesting sometimes as I have perfect pitch and the pitch shifts play gentle havoc with my eyes and ears…what I read is not exactly what I hear!

Also the time delay becomes shorter and shorter, so it starts to feel like a real game of catch up – if I play too slowly, I will be overtaken by my “other” self.

Read the full text on Jill Richards’ blog.

An introduction to Ein Schattenspiel by Therese Muxeneder is available on the festival’s website.

mete moi meli, mete melissa - ATTHIS in Cologne

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 20 August 2014

Sarah Wegener, Georg Friedrich Haas (c) Sarah Wegenermete moi meli, mete melissa
[“no honey for me, no bees”]

Sarah Wegener and the Ensemble musikFabrik will perform Georg Friedrich Haas’ ATTHIS for soprano and 8 instruments on 23 August at the WDR Funkhaus in Cologne. The work recently received rave reviews for Opera Cabal’s “mesmerizing production” (NY Times) at the Kitchen in New York.

View the full score of ATTHIS on Universal Edition.

View Ensemble musikFabrik’s short documentary on Haas’ “Ich suchte, aber ich fand ihn nicht.”, who premièred the piece in 2011:

Haas, Reich, Lubman and Fineberg

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 August 2014

Georg Friedrich Haas, with Steve Reich, Brad Lubman and Joshua Fineberg (c) Georg Friedrich Haas

“What a wonderful afternoon. Hearing my second concert of Steve Reich, and then being able to tell him how he showed me how new music happens where it is never expected.” (Georg Friedrich Haas with Steve Reich, Brad Lubman and Joshua Fineberg)

micatonal: portraits of Haas, Cerha and Furrer

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 Juli 2014

micatonal, music austria’s new webradio for contemporary music from Austria, will be broadcasting portraits on Friedrich Cerha, Beat Furrer and Georg Friedrich Haas within the next days. 

Tune in at the following times to listen to portraits on:

Friedrich Cerha: 5. July, 18:00
Beat Furrer: 8. July, 19:00
Georg Friedrich Haas: 11. July, 19:00

View the full programme on micatonal.

A “mesmerizing production” of ATTHIS in New York

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 16 Juni 2014

ATTHIS c Ruby Washington, The New York TimesCongratulations to soprano Ariadne Greif, Opera Cabal, ACME, conductor Peyman Farzinpour and director Habib Azar for their successful North American stage première of ATTHIS by Georg Friedrich HaasThe New York Times describes it as a “mesmerizing production [...] revealing art, bursting at the seams of control” (Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, The New York Times, 13.06.2014)

Read the full article on The New York Times.

ATTHIS in New York

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 10 Juni 2014

Opera Cabal: ATTHIS (c) Opera Cabal

The Chicago-based Opera Cabal partners with the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (cond. Peyman Farzinpour) to present the first North American stage premiere of Georg Friedrich Haas’ monodrama ATTHIS, with lyrics by the ancient Greek poet Sappho.

Emmy Award-winning stage director Habib Azar directs the production, which premières on 12 June.

View the full score.

Albrecht Dümling on ATTHIS:

Georg Friedrich Haas begins his composition (named after a young girl who was Sappho’s pupil) with consonant sounds, as the voice emerges almost imperceptibly from the swelling major third in several string octaves. In slow motion, as it were, the singer recites the Greek words mete moi meli, mete melissa [“no honey for me, no bees”] on a single pitch – a lover’s lament, sung while the major third first turns gradually into a minor third, then a tritone and finally a seventh.

Then the German words untergegangen ist der Mond [“the moon is sunken”] follow, first as if spoken and then sung in cantabile melisma. The score calls for three types of singing: rough, in the lowest register, almost spoken, then cantabile,espressivo and melodious and, thirdly, as glissando, whereby the three types of singing must be clearly differentiated: “The effect should be like that of changing instruments, or imitating a vocal trio.”

Read the full text.

Georg Friedrich Haas: ATTHIS
for soprano and 8 instruments | 40'
staged prem. 12. and 13.06.2014, The Kitchen, New York; Ariadne Greif, s; ACME, cond. Peyman Farzinpour

love songs without words, dedicated to the ensemble recherche

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 Juni 2014

ensemble recherce (c) Maurice Korbel

During preparations for their 25th anniversary in 2010, the ensemble recherche came to the conclusion that “There are no love songs anymore!”. So they request such pieces for the celebration from various composer friends; more than 30 love songs were written in the process and more are in progress: one could almost speak of a new “trend”. (Kornelia Bittmann)

WERGO has recently released a two-and-a-half-hour double-CD set that features 30 love songs that are dedicated to the ensemble recherche – an ensemble that, since its founding in 1985, has premièred more than 500 works and released about 50 CDs, many of which have been awarded international prizes including the annual German Critics’ Award and the Diapason d’Or.

Their latest CD, which features works by Georg Friedrich Haas, Johannes Maria Staud and Hans Zender, has been highly praised by critics and public alike (“ensemble recherche’s amorous collection reclaims the love song from the embrace of pop music”, Andrew Clements for The Guardian) and already makes us hope for a follow-up CD.

ensemble recherche: liebeslieder; WERGO

The Financial Times reviews Haas at the Tectonics Festival ★★★★★

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 13 Mai 2014

Tectonics GlasgowThe Financial Times has reviewed the world première of Georg Friedrich Haas’ concerto grosso No. 2 and the première of his Concerto for baritone saxophone and orchestra at the Tectonics festival and they certainly don’t hold back on the praise: “To have one out-and-out success in the unpredictable world of new music is an achievement. To have two by the same composer in the same evening is a coup.”

Read the full review on the Financial Times.

Finale and “In iij. Noct.” at the 32. rassegna di nuova musica

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 02 April 2014

32. rassegna di nuova musicaGeorg Friedrich Haas’ Finale for flute and his string quartet no. 3 “In iij. Noct.” will be performed at the 32. rassegna di nuova musica in Macerata. The festival for new music, which took place for the first time in 1983, runs from 4 until 6 April.