Our latest newsletter is out now:
- Nicolas Hodges presents the UK première of Wolfgang Rihm’s Piano Concerto No 2 at the Barbican Hall
- The definitive form of Janáček’s Sinfonietta premièred in Prague
- Johannes Maria Staud’s opera Die Antilope receives its German première at the Cologne Opera
25 years ago today, on 9 February 1992, Wolfgang Rihm’s opera Die Eroberung von Mexico was first heard at the Hamburg State Opera – Ingo Metzmacher conducted.
On the same day in 1992, Arvo Pärt’s And One of the Pharisees ... was given its world première by Paul Hillier and the Theatre of Voices.
In 1949, the orchestral suite of Gottfried von Einem’s Dantons Tod was premièred in Baden Baden by the Radio Orchestra.
… and on this day in 1945, Frank Martin’s Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke was performed for the very first time in Basel by the Basel Chamber Orchestra and Paul Sacher.
And Happy Birthday Alban Berg! He was born on 9 February 1885, 132 years ago today.
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:
Bologna Modern runs from 14 to 23 October at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna. Universal Edition is strongly represented, with performances by Georg Friedrich Haas, Wolfgang Rihm, Friedrich Cerha and Alban Berg.
Baritone Georg Nigl and pianist Alexander Melnikov will be performing the world première of Wolfgang Rihm’s dort wie hier today at the Kölner Philharmonie – together with Lieder by Franz Schubert, Alban Berg and Johannes Brahms.
The Dutch première will take place tomorrow at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ.
“Artaud’s theatrical work is not a historical drama; it is a phantasmagoria about ambivalence” (Wolfgang Rihm on Die Eroberung von Mexico)
In case you’ve missed the Oper Köln’s [German] introductory trailer for Wolfgang Rihm’s Die Eroberung von Mexico, you can watch it here:
Alejo Pérez conducts Peter Konwitschny’s production, which has already been shown at the Salzburg Festival. Further performances take place on 13, 20, 26 and 29 May.
Pitted against the Minguet Quartett’s contemporary sensibilities – shifting between tender supplication and confrontational toughness – the textured renaissance richness of the Huelgas Ensemble is thrown into sharply acidic relief. Atmospherically recorded, with poetically pointed notes by Paul Griffiths. (Michael Quinn, Choir & Organ, September/October 2015)
Congratulations to the Huelgas Ensemble, the Minguet Quartett and Paul Van Nevel for the 5-star review that their recording of Wolfgang Rihm’s ET LUX received in the Choir & Organ magazine. ET LUX was released by ECM New Series.
The CD includes a beautiful booklet with an introductory statement by Wolfgang Rihm and liner notes by Paul Griffiths and Wolfgang Schreiber.
Wolfgang Rihm on ET LUX [German interview with English subtitles]:
opernwelt’s annual survey is out:
Congratulations to Georg Nigl, who has been selected “singer of the year 2015” in Andrea Breth’s “performance of the year” of Jakob Lenz at the opera Stuttgart.
Also congratulations to Marlis Petersen who won “singer of the year” for her title role in Berg’s Lulu at the Bayerische Staatsoper.
You can watch the trailer for the production here:
Which aesthetic-philosophical discourses exist at the moment? Is talking about music part of the compositional process?
In the eighth and final Salongespräch of impuls neue music, composers Wolfgang Rihm and Pascal Dusapin and host Uli Aumüller will address the topic of musical beauty.
The event takes place on 21 September at the Institut Francais in Berlin.
On the day before the talk, Wolfgang Rihm’s Musik für 3 Streicher will be performed at the Philharmonie in the frame of the Musikfest Berlin. The composer will be present at the concert.
Find out more on the website of impuls neue musik.
“Eine Akademie kann heute nur der Ort des Un-Akademischen sein!” (Wolfgang Rihm)
News from Lucerne: the Lucerne Festival has announced that from summer 2016, Wolfgang Rihm will be the new artistic director of the Lucerne Festival Academy.
“- Welche Bedeutung hat oder hatte Schönberg für Sie?
- Von ihm ging ich aus. Er, Alban Berg und Anton Webern waren für mich musikalisch Grundnahrung in frühester Zeit.“ (Wolfgang Rihm and Tobias Schwartz, Der Tagesspiegel, 3 September 2015)
Composer Wolfgang Rihm talks to Der Tagesspiegel about Arnold Schönberg, twelve-tone technique and sensuous mathematicians.
The interview was held on the occasion of the opening of the Musikfest Berlin.
Pierre Boulez loves virtuosity, says moderator Wolfgang Schaufler. “His music does not have extreme compositional virtuosity, but there is a certain risk,” says Tamara Stefanovich. For example, the Second Sonata, which will also be played in concert tomorrow, is perfectly formulated. “The ideas are very clear. Beyond the structure, however, he manages to take the audience with him,” she says. “The piece develops into a mystery, delving into acoustic and pianistic impossibilities,” as she says. The ear is challenged to the extreme.
When discussing Boulez, one must not lose sight of the fact that he is a French composer, in the tradition of Debussy, says Wolfgang Schaufler. Of course he was strongly influenced by the Viennese School, but in his music one hears a completely free spirit.
Pierre-Laurent Aimard met Boulez when the latter was only 51. “He was already Mount Everest at the time,” says the pianist. He describes Boulez as a man full of humanity, with enormous activism on behalf of music, and always dedicated to the cause. Both in human and in moral terms, he is a role model.
Of course he plays Boulez works differently today than he did 20 years ago, explains Aimard. That is completely natural – after all, he too has developed, and he keeps discovering new levels and hidden layers in the music. For many ,Boulez’ music was provocative in 1992 – today one has the impression that the audience has a more natural approach to it. So was Boulez a modernist in 1992 and has become a classic? “Maybe,” says Pierre-Laurent Aimard, “but a classic who remains beautifully disturbing!” Boulez’ music demands more exertion, is more challenging, but also richer, says the pianist. That is why he thinks it suitable for any listener who might feel that contemporary music is inaccessible.
Wolfgang Rihm describes how he cried, overcome with emotion, because Konwitschny managed to create emotions with the help of a book. The stage sets show a destroyed world with a white room at its centre, inside which Montezuma arranges everything down to the smallest detail in the beginning. The windows are washed, the carpet smoothed out, and this book, Shadows of Wild Horses, is placed on the table carefully, ensuring that they have something to talk about during their first meeting. At the end of Act II, the room is overtaken by absolute chaos, and the book becomes a symbol. “The history of the relationship is told with great consequence,” the soprano says.
During recent days, composer Wolfgang Rihm has been asked frequently by journalists what made the Salzburg Festival special. “They were always quite astonished at my answers,” he says. “Salzburg is a place where one is offered a mind-boggling working situation. It is possible to work here with incredible intensity, and with so much love and passion.”