Wolfgang Rihm: 1. Abgesangsszene

  • for orchestra
  • 2 2 2 2 - 4 2 2 1 - timp, str(14 12 10 8 6)
  • Duration: 9’
  • Instrumentation details:
    1st flute
    2nd flute (+picc)
    1st oboe
    2nd oboe (+c.a)
    clarinet in Bb
    bass clarinet in Bb
    bassoon
    contrabassoon
    1st horn in F
    2nd horn in F
    3rd horn in F
    4th horn in F
    1st trumpet in C
    2nd trumpet in C
    1st trombone
    2nd trombone
    tuba
    timpani
    violin I(14)
    violin II(12)
    viola(10)
    violoncello(8)
    contrabass(6)
  • Composer: Wolfgang Rihm
  • Commission: Kompositionsauftrag der Stadtsparkasse Kassel

Work introduction

After initially composing the piece for the Spohr Festival in Kassel in 1979, Rihm carried on that same year to make a cycle of five Abgesangszenen [“farewell scenes”], the last of which he completed in 1981. The first of them is sombre, ominous music, quite slow, its dynamics restrained – almost seven minutes pass before a fortissimo outbreak. Initially, fragments of a melody pass among several instrumental groups; then the melody emerges in its entirety and the music gains momentum, although its sombre atmosphere remains throughout.

Translation © 2012 by Grant Chorley

Audiosamples

World première

Location:
Kassel (DE)
Date:
08.11.1979
Orchestra:
RSO Frankfurt
Conductor:
John Carewe

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