2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the great American author Walt Whitman. Paul Hindemith’s requiem, When lilacs last in the door-yard bloom’d, is a setting of Whitman’s poem of the same name, which will be performed at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg on 18 and 19 January by mezzo-soprano Gerhild Romberger, baritone Matthias Goerne, the RIAS Chamber Choir, the NDR Choir and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra conducted by Christoph Eschenbach.
The Munich Philharmonic celebrates Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin’s 85th birthday with a concert performance of his opera The Enchanted Wanderer at the Philharmonie in Munich on 19 and 20 December with conductor Valery Gergiev. Continue reading “Work of the Week: Rodion Shchedrin – The Enchanted Wanderer”
With its images of spring and renewal, Aribert Reimann’s new song cycle for voice and string quartet will keep the cold at bay this winter. Die schönen Augen der Frühlingsnacht was written for soprano Moja Erdmann and the Kuss Quartett who will give the world premiere on 14 December at the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam. Continue reading “Work of the Week: Aribert Reimann – Die schönen Augen der Frühlingsnacht”
The Passacaglia from Krzysztof Penderecki’s 3. Sinfonie features in choreographer Goyo Montero’s latest dance piece, Dürer’s Dog. Inspired by the paintings of German renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer, the premiere will be on 25 November at the Staatstheater in Nuremburg.
In the 1980s, Penderecki was commissioned to write a symphonic work but although he began writing immediately, only the current fourth movement, Passacaglia, and a Rondo, which would become the second movement, were completed by the premiere in 1988. It would take until 1995 for the work to be performed in its entirety. The piece is rooted firmly in the tradition of the genre with its five movements connected by overarching themes and structures.
Krzysztof Penderecki – 3.Sinfonie: Passacaglia’s life of its own
Passacaglia made its way into the conscience of millions of filmgoers when it featured in Martin Scorsese’s thriller Shutter Island (2010) starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Penderecki’s use of constant repetition and harsh rhythmic fragments were a perfect accompaniment to the film’s atmosphere of apprehension and discomfort.
One cannot simply plant a few trees, it needs order and a shape. It is similar to music: all my works have a clear form – I am not an improvisator. – Krzysztof Penderecki
Dürer’s Dog will run from 25 November until 9 February 2018. Penderecki’s 2. Sinfonie (Christmas Symphony) can be heard on 14 December in Budapest with the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra and Keri-Lynn Wilson.
Toshio Hosokawa’s music straddles two cultures, with influences from traditional Japanese music and the world of European art music. This is evident in his new chamber opera, Futari Shizuka (The Two Shizukas), which will be premiered on 1 December at the Autumn Festival in Paris by Ensemble Intercontemporain with conductor Matthias Pintscher, soprano Kerstin Avemo and Nô performer Ryoko Aoki.
Although known predominantly for his operas, Richard Wagner’s oeuvre includes many orchestral and chamber works. Among these is Wesendonck-Lieder for voice and piano, which will be performed this week in the version orchestrated by Felix Mottl in Luxembourg and in the arrangement for ensemble by Hans Werner Henze in the UK, Switzerland and Germany. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Richard Wagner: Wesendonck-Lieder”
Hans Werner Henze’s oratorio, Das Floß der Medusa, with a text by Ernst Schnabel, will be performed by the SWR Symphonieorchester and Peter Eötvös on 15 November at the Konzerthaus in Freiburg and again on 17 November at Hamburg Elphilharmonie. The work was inspired by the 1816 maritime disaster and shares a name with Théodore Géricault’s painting of the event. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Hans Werner Henze: Das Floß der Medusa”
Atsuhiko Gondai’s Omnia Tempus Habent for piano and string orchestra will have its world premiere on 9 November 2017 at a concert celebrating composer Valentin Silvestrov’s 80th Birthday. Conductor Yuta Shimizu will be joined by pianist Alexej Ljubmov at the Musashino Civic Cultural Hall, Tokyo for a programme which also includes Silvestrov performing a selection of his own piano and chamber works. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Atsuhiko Gondai: Omnia Tempus Habent”
Jörg Widmann’s Au cœur de Paris (“In the heart of Paris”) was written in celebration of Orchestre de Paris’ 50th anniversary. The piece will be premiered on 1 November at the Philharmonie in Paris with Daniel Harding. The concert will also feature Widmann, who is their Artist in Residence, performing his Fantasie for solo clarinet.
March 2018 marks the centenary of Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s birth. Among the performances in celebration of this occasion are two concerts on 29 October featuring Sinfonie in einem Satz in its two versions, one with the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern and Peter Hirsch, and the other with the Gürzenich Orchester Köln conducted by Harmut Haenchen.