Wolfgang Rihm: 2. Klavierkonzert

Wolfgang Rihm 2. Klavierkonzert
2. Klavierkonzert

Wolfgang Rihm: 2. Klavierkonzert

Year of composition:
Scored for:
for piano and orchestra
Wolfgang Rihm
2 1 3 2 - 2 1 1 0 - perc(2), hp, str
Instrumentation details:
1st flute
2nd flute (+picc)
1st clarinet in A
2nd clarinet in A
bass clarinet
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon in Kontrafagott
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
trumpet in C
1st percussion
2nd percussion
violin I
violin II
double bass
Auftragswerk von Salzburger Festspielfonds, Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester und National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, DC, Christoph Eschenbach, Music Director. Commissioned by Salzburger Festspielfonds, Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester and National Sympho
für Tzimon Barto
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The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

Work introduction

Wolfgang Rihm on his second piano concerto (interview with Bjørn Woll)

BW: Mr. Rihm, what is it about the piano concerto genre that attracts you? How do you handle the traditional form?

WR: If we take a closer look at the “traditional” piano concertos, we find that each has its own form. And that is precisely what attracts me – to create something taking its own shape while remaining within a formal continuity.

BW: What are the design and character of the piece?

WR: As we’ve said; it has its own design and its own character. Yet one could say, perhaps, that it belongs among the more intimate ones – less boxing match, more chamber music.

BW: Can you describe the concerto’s compositional style and musical makeup?

WR: No; I am not a musicologist. But listening to the piece (which, of course, I have not yet been able to do except in my imagination), the vocal character of many of its parts will surely be apparent – the aforementioned chamber-musical aspect – finely drawn rather than with a house-painter’s brush. Of course, that does not preclude the lines from occasionally galloping about and whooshing and swirling and leaping away – but the virtuosic aspect remains integrated in the song of the totality so that it does not form a foreground. That naturally makes such a piece much more difficult to play than usual virtuoso fodder; the free play of the lines remains unpredictable, “virtual” … the false floor as a resonance box.

BW: The work is dedicated to Tzimon Barto; did that inspire or influence you when you were composing it?

WR: An extraordinary artist, most highly creative in his own way. He has the most exquisite pianissimo imaginable –and that certainly had its influence on some parts of my new work – and I know that the many changes of shape and character of inflection are in the best of hands with Barto’s pianistic intelligence.

BW: Did you and the interpreter exchange thoughts, ideas, etc. during the composing process?

WR: No. When I am composing I am not “exchangeable.”

BW: Do you have a little tip or guide to listening for audiences hearing the work for the first time in concert?

WR: Imagine that Mozart wrote it – or that Rihm did. But best of all, just listen attentively.

Special prints

2. Klavierkonzert

Wolfgang Rihm: 2. Klavierkonzert

full score
for piano and orchestra , 25’
Instr.: 2 1 3 2 - 2 1 1 0 - perc(2), hp, str

2. Klavierkonzert

Wolfgang Rihm: 2. Klavierkonzert

study score
for piano and orchestra , 25’
Instr.: 2 1 3 2 - 2 1 1 0 - perc(2), hp, str

2. Klavierkonzert

Wolfgang Rihm: 2. Klavierkonzert

solo part(s)
for piano and orchestra , 25’
Instr.: 2 1 3 2 - 2 1 1 0 - perc(2), hp, str

Next performances

07 Apr

2. Klavierkonzert

Tongyeong Concert Hall, Tongyeong (KR)

World première

Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester
Christoph Eschenbach


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