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Wolfgang Rihm: Nähe fern 1

  • for orchestra
  • 2 2 2 3 - 4 2 3 1 - timp, str
  • Duration: 10’
  • Instrumentation details:
    1st flute
    2nd flute
    cor anglais
    1st clarinet in A
    2nd clarinet in A
    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
    1st trombone
    2nd trombone
    3rd trombone
    bass tuba
    violin I
    violin II
  • Composer: Wolfgang Rihm
  • Commission: Auftragswerk von Luzerner Sinfonieorchester und LUCERNE FESTIVAL

Work introduction

After Ernster Gesang (1996) and Das Lesen der Schrift (2001/2002), Rihm again demonstrates his affinity with temporally distant Brahms in Nähe fern 1. The title is from a poem by Goethe which Brahms also set to music; Rihm was motivated to compose it at the suggestion of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and the Lucerne Festival, to write four orchestral works, one of which could be played before each of Brahms’ symphonies.

Nähe fern 1 is late Romantic music, the expression of a longing perhaps more associated with Mahler than with Brahms. It is saturated with melodies interrupted by passionate outbursts from the horns, bassoon, cor anglais and strings. Apart from a brief allegretto, the tempo is adagio, constantly kept in flux by ritentuto and più vivo passages. At the same time, Nähe fern 1 is the first movement of a four-part symphony.


The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

World première

KKL, Luzern (CH)
Luzerner SO
James Gaffigan

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