Wolfgang Rihm’sTransitus was commissioned by La Scala in Milan with the request that it should allude to the works of Richard Strauss. Tonight, on 5 September, the work will be performed for the first time in Germany, Jukka-Pekka Saraste conducts the WDR SO Köln.
The composer on how he deals with people who label Richard Strauss as a “conservative”:
What am I supposed to deal with? – the label? – that people place it on Strauss and occasionally on me, too? In both cases, it depends on who is attaching the label; only then can you know what it means. What could it mean? “Conservative” could be a stance including thinking in avant-garde categories even today. If you look at it that way, of course I am not conservative. It’s too bad, actually, since the avant-garde nurtured me. But the designation “conservative” is mostly applied to someone who does not insensibly float along in the flow of the fashionable trends of the day. From that viewpoint, I can quite rightly and justifiably be called a conservative. And Strauss? – ask him yourself. He is still alive, in a senior citizens’ home in Darmstadt. He jogs over the cemetery there every day…
View the full score of Transitus.
Wolfgang Rihm: Transitus
for orchestra | 15'
prem. 05.11.2014, Philharmonie, Cologne; WDR SO Köln, cond. Jukka-Pekka Saraste