This work is Rihm’s third violin concerto, after Lichtzwang (1975/76) and Gesungene Zeit (1991/92). It sounds almost as though the composer had added a solo violin to his Dunkles Spiel; again and again, percussion accompanies the violin, the sound is enriched by harp and piano, the sonics turn dark. Yet Dritte Musik is much more than a new version of Dunkles Spiel (not least because the orchestra is much larger, including an accordion, with its own distinctive sonic colour added to the mix); this violin concerto is compellingly witty, fantastical music which traverses multifarious landscapes in not quite 18 minutes. Like Kolchis and the Klavierstück Nr. 6, Rihm dedicated this piece to his friend, the painter Kurt Kocherscheidt.
Translation: Grant Chorley