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The idea for a double concerto for viola and cello came from Walter Grimmer, cellist of the Berlin String Quartet. Rihm’s music is highly dramatic, driven as if it were a wrestling match in which the two soloists were locked in a struggle for victory over the 30 members of the orchestra. The composer was thinking the while on the friendship of Rimbaud and Verlaine, as well as “the free forms of lyrical prose and musical hybrids – concerto and dance scene, vocal duet and chamber symphony.”
Translation © 2012 by Grant Chorley