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Cover

ARCHE

Ein Oratorium für Soli, Chöre, Orgel und Orchester

Texte von Claudius, Klabund, Heine, Sloterdijk, Andersen, Brentano, Schiller, Franz von Assisi, Nietzsche, Schimmelpfennig, Thomas von Celano, Michelangelo und aus Des Knaben Wunderhorn, Bibel und Messe


  • Instrumentation: soloists, choirs, organ and orchestra
  • Edition: performance material
  • Language: German - Latin

 
description
Jörg Widmann has composed an oratorio entitled ARCHE for the opening of the Elbphilharmonie which involved around 300 musicians: soprano and baritone soloists, a large orchestra, two adult choirs and a children’s choir.

The work centres on mankind’s pleas to God who has ceased to respond to these cries. On the contrary, Humans, who are said to be fashioned in God’s own image are about to be annihilated in the flood not long after having been created by this same God. Two child narrators chronicle, with factual innocence and at times ironic alienation, the act of creation (I. ‘Es werde Licht’ [Let there be light]) and the flood which will kill all living things apart from Noah and his brethren (II. ‘Die Sintflut’ [The flood]). With vast cascading masses of sound, listeners are provided with an almost physical experience of the violence of this act of destruction.

The  third section ‘Liebe’ [Love] is placed at the heart of the oratorio almost like an island of joy. This section commences with an unfolding antiphony between the lovers. However, while the choir is still singing the Song of Songs, a double murder committed out of jealousy is reported – mankind is not even capable of protecting the precious resource of love from evil.

It is no surprise that the Apocalypse (IV. ‘Dies irae’) then ensues. Once more, the two principles of good and destruction – represented by the two choirs – are juxtaposed: lyrical passages (‘Voca me cum benedictis’) are confronted by the brutalistic sounds of the opposing destructive force (‘Confutatis maledictis’). Soprano and baritone soloists again appeal for divine intervention and the forgiveness of all sins.

The final section begins with a children’s chorus which cynically rebels against the principle of a punishing God. The choir recites an alphabet of horrors, defining the atrocities and perils of our time. The choir ends with the words ‘In God we trust’, followed by the baritone soloist singing the text ‘in te Domine speravi’. Notwithstanding, the child narrators reject this falsehood: mankind must first take responsibility for its own survival (‘Entzündet Liebe, wo Finsternis regiert!’ [Kindle love where darkness rules!]). Only then will peace be possible among mankind and with God.

Widmann compiled texts from a variety of eras to illustrate this broad vision, ranging from writers such as Matthias Claudius (as a reminiscence of the city of Hamburg), Friedrich Schiller and Klabund, from philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche and from sacred texts (from the Bible and by Franz of Assisi). The libretto is complemented by a rich abundance of musical forms ranging from tonal passages to complex choral textures, from intimate moments of piano lied up to large-scale sections utilizing extensive orchestral and choral forces. This is a song of the world, a cosmos in which mankind is represented as vulnerable with his wishes, hopes, fears and his utopia of a better world.
Details
Auftragswerk : Auftragswerk des Philharmonischen Staatsorchesters Hamburg
Content text: I Fiat Lux
II Sintflut
III Liebe
IV Dies Irae
V Dona Nobis Pacem
Performance duration: 100'0"
Publisher: Schott Music
Uraufführung : 13. Januar 2017 Hamburg, Elbphilharmonie, Großer Saal (D) · Marlis Petersen, Sopran; Thomas E. Bauer, Bariton; Iveta Apkalna, Orgel · Dirigent: Kent Nagano · Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg · Chor der Hamburgischen Staatsoper; Audi Jugendchorakademie; Hamburger Alsterspatzen · Choreinstudierung: Eberhard Friedrich; Martin Steidler; Jürgen Luhn
Year of composition: 2016
instrumentation: 4 · (alle auch Picc., 3. auch Altfl., 4. auch Bassfl.) · 4 (2. auch Ob. d'am., 3. auch Engl. Hr., 4. auch Heckelphon) · 4 (2. auch Es-Klar., 3. auch Bassklar., 4. auch Kb.-Klar.) · 4 (3. und 4. auch Kfg.) - 6 (auch 2 Naturhr.) · 4 Trp. (auch 1 Trp. in hoch b) · 4 · 1 - P. S. (4 Spieler*) - 2 Hfe. · Akk. · Glasharm. · 2 Klav. (2. auch Cel.) · Org. - Sopran · Bariton · Knabensopran · 2 Kinder (Sprecher: Junge u. Mädchen) · Kinderchor · 2 gem. Chöre - Str. (16 · 14 · 12 · 10 · 8 [alle Fünfsaiter]) - *Schlagzeugbesetzung: I: Glsp. · Xyl. · Xylorimba · Vibr. · Röhrengl. [mit Wassereimer] · Trgl. · 3 Beck. [h/m/t] · chin. Beck · Kuhgl. · Peking Opera Gong · Tamt. · Buckelgong · kl. Tr. · gr. Tr. · Metal Chimes · 4 Kast. [sehr hoch/h/m/t] ·5 Woodbl. · Pf. · Vibra-Slap · Flex. · hg. Bronzeplatte · Donnerblech; II: Glsp. · Xyl. · Steel Drum · Röhrengl. · Trgl. · 3 Beck. [h/m/t] · Beckenpaar · chin. Beck. · 2 Splash Beck. [h/m] · Peking Oper Gong · 3 Tamt. [h/m/t] · Wasser-Tamt. · 2 Tamb. [sehr hoch/h] · Riq [arab. Rahmentr.] · gr. Tr. · hg. Stäbe · Mar. · Ratsche · 5 Woodbl. · Vibra-Slap · Peitsche · Lotosfl.; III: Crot. · chin. Beck. · 3 Kuhgl. [G#'/A'/H'] · Tamt. [t] · Buckelgong [Es] · 2 Tamb. [sehr hoch/h] · 2 Bong. [h/t] · kl. Tr. [offstage] · 4 Tomt. [sehr hoch/h/m/t] · gr. Tr. mit Beck. · Metal Chimes · Guiro · 4 Kast. [sehr hoch/h/m/t] · Pf. · Vibra-Slap · Rainmaker · Pistole; IV: Crot. · Steel Drum · Plattengl. [C#/G] · Trgl. · Beck. · Tamt. · Buckelgong · Tamb. · Riq [arab. Rahmentr.] · kl. Tr. · gr. Tr. · Rototoms · Ratsche · Clav. · Flex. · hg. Bronzeplatte · Lotosfl. · Maultr. · Windmasch.) (4 Spieler)
Performances
Conductor: Kent Nagano
Orchestra: Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg
2017-01-13 | Hamburg (Germany), Elbphilharmonie, Großer Saal | World Premiere
Jörg Widmann has composed an oratorio entitled ARCHE for the opening of the Elbphilharmonie which involved around 300 musicians: soprano and baritone soloists, a large orchestra, two adult choirs and a children’s choir.

The work centres on mankind’s pleas to God who has ceased to respond to these cries. On the contrary, Humans, who are said to be fashioned in God’s own image are about to be annihilated in the flood not long after having been created by this same God. Two child narrators chronicle, with factual innocence and at times ironic alienation, the act of creation (I. ‘Es werde Licht’ [Let there be light]) and the flood which will kill all living things apart from Noah and his brethren (II. ‘Die Sintflut’ [The flood]). With vast cascading masses of sound, listeners are provided with an almost physical experience of the violence of this act of destruction.

The  third section ‘Liebe’ [Love] is placed at the heart of the oratorio almost like an island of joy. This section commences with an unfolding antiphony between the lovers. However, while the choir is still singing the Song of Songs, a double murder committed out of jealousy is reported – mankind is not even capable of protecting the precious resource of love from evil.

It is no surprise that the Apocalypse (IV. ‘Dies irae’) then ensues. Once more, the two principles of good and destruction – represented by the two choirs – are juxtaposed: lyrical passages (‘Voca me cum benedictis’) are confronted by the brutalistic sounds of the opposing destructive force (‘Confutatis maledictis’). Soprano and baritone soloists again appeal for divine intervention and the forgiveness of all sins.

The final section begins with a children’s chorus which cynically rebels against the principle of a punishing God. The choir recites an alphabet of horrors, defining the atrocities and perils of our time. The choir ends with the words ‘In God we trust’, followed by the baritone soloist singing the text ‘in te Domine speravi’. Notwithstanding, the child narrators reject this falsehood: mankind must first take responsibility for its own survival (‘Entzündet Liebe, wo Finsternis regiert!’ [Kindle love where darkness rules!]). Only then will peace be possible among mankind and with God.

Widmann compiled texts from a variety of eras to illustrate this broad vision, ranging from writers such as Matthias Claudius (as a reminiscence of the city of Hamburg), Friedrich Schiller and Klabund, from philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche and from sacred texts (from the Bible and by Franz of Assisi). The libretto is complemented by a rich abundance of musical forms ranging from tonal passages to complex choral textures, from intimate moments of piano lied up to large-scale sections utilizing extensive orchestral and choral forces. This is a song of the world, a cosmos in which mankind is represented as vulnerable with his wishes, hopes, fears and his utopia of a better world.
Auftragswerk : Auftragswerk des Philharmonischen Staatsorchesters Hamburg
Content text: I Fiat Lux
II Sintflut
III Liebe
IV Dies Irae
V Dona Nobis Pacem
Performance duration: 100'0"
Publisher: Schott Music
Uraufführung : 13. Januar 2017 Hamburg, Elbphilharmonie, Großer Saal (D) · Marlis Petersen, Sopran; Thomas E. Bauer, Bariton; Iveta Apkalna, Orgel · Dirigent: Kent Nagano · Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg · Chor der Hamburgischen Staatsoper; Audi Jugendchorakademie; Hamburger Alsterspatzen · Choreinstudierung: Eberhard Friedrich; Martin Steidler; Jürgen Luhn
Year of composition: 2016
instrumentation: 4 · (alle auch Picc., 3. auch Altfl., 4. auch Bassfl.) · 4 (2. auch Ob. d'am., 3. auch Engl. Hr., 4. auch Heckelphon) · 4 (2. auch Es-Klar., 3. auch Bassklar., 4. auch Kb.-Klar.) · 4 (3. und 4. auch Kfg.) - 6 (auch 2 Naturhr.) · 4 Trp. (auch 1 Trp. in hoch b) · 4 · 1 - P. S. (4 Spieler*) - 2 Hfe. · Akk. · Glasharm. · 2 Klav. (2. auch Cel.) · Org. - Sopran · Bariton · Knabensopran · 2 Kinder (Sprecher: Junge u. Mädchen) · Kinderchor · 2 gem. Chöre - Str. (16 · 14 · 12 · 10 · 8 [alle Fünfsaiter]) - *Schlagzeugbesetzung: I: Glsp. · Xyl. · Xylorimba · Vibr. · Röhrengl. [mit Wassereimer] · Trgl. · 3 Beck. [h/m/t] · chin. Beck · Kuhgl. · Peking Opera Gong · Tamt. · Buckelgong · kl. Tr. · gr. Tr. · Metal Chimes · 4 Kast. [sehr hoch/h/m/t] ·5 Woodbl. · Pf. · Vibra-Slap · Flex. · hg. Bronzeplatte · Donnerblech; II: Glsp. · Xyl. · Steel Drum · Röhrengl. · Trgl. · 3 Beck. [h/m/t] · Beckenpaar · chin. Beck. · 2 Splash Beck. [h/m] · Peking Oper Gong · 3 Tamt. [h/m/t] · Wasser-Tamt. · 2 Tamb. [sehr hoch/h] · Riq [arab. Rahmentr.] · gr. Tr. · hg. Stäbe · Mar. · Ratsche · 5 Woodbl. · Vibra-Slap · Peitsche · Lotosfl.; III: Crot. · chin. Beck. · 3 Kuhgl. [G#'/A'/H'] · Tamt. [t] · Buckelgong [Es] · 2 Tamb. [sehr hoch/h] · 2 Bong. [h/t] · kl. Tr. [offstage] · 4 Tomt. [sehr hoch/h/m/t] · gr. Tr. mit Beck. · Metal Chimes · Guiro · 4 Kast. [sehr hoch/h/m/t] · Pf. · Vibra-Slap · Rainmaker · Pistole; IV: Crot. · Steel Drum · Plattengl. [C#/G] · Trgl. · Beck. · Tamt. · Buckelgong · Tamb. · Riq [arab. Rahmentr.] · kl. Tr. · gr. Tr. · Rototoms · Ratsche · Clav. · Flex. · hg. Bronzeplatte · Lotosfl. · Maultr. · Windmasch.) (4 Spieler)
Conductor: Kent Nagano
Orchestra: Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg
2017-01-13 | Hamburg (Germany), Elbphilharmonie, Großer Saal | World Premiere