Universal Edition - Wolfgang Rihm – 2. Symphonie

Wolfgang Rihm

Wolfgang Rihm
2. Symphonie

Year of composition: 1975
Subtitle: (first and last movement)
Scored for: for large orchestra
Composer: Wolfgang Rihm
Instrumentation: 3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(6), hp, pno, org, str(at least 16 14 12 10 8)
Instrumentation details:
1st flute (+picc)
2nd flute (+picc)
3rd flute (+picc)
1st oboe
2nd oboe
3rd oboe
1st clarinet in Bb
2nd clarinet in Bb
3rd clarinet in Bb (+bass cl(Bb))
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
3rd horn in F
4th horn in F
1st trumpet in C
2nd trumpet in C
3rd trumpet in C
1st trombone
2nd trombone
3rd trombone
bass tuba
percussion (6 players)
violin I
violin II
Duration: 15′
Dedication: für Eva und Armin
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Audio Excerpt

2. Symphonie

World Première

Location: Berlin / Germany
Date: 27.06.1976
Orchestra: RSO Berlin
Conductor: Hiroshi Wakasugi

Work Introduction

“First and last movement” is parenthesised below the title; yet the piece is not in one movement. The first part, lasting 10 minutes, is followed after a short pause by a Marcia funebre of four minutes duration.

23-year-old Rihm scored his Symphony No. 2 for large orchestra, including six percussionists and a string ensemble of at least 60 players. Tremendous tension characterises the first part, the music reflecting a bitter, dramatic struggle; a doomsday atmosphere predominates, the orchestra sometimes sounding like a gigantic organ with solemn unisono chords. The marcia funebre is not funeral music; it is a determined revolt against fate, like soldiers carrying the hero to his grave in full armour.

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