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2020/08/31

Work of the Week – Christian Jost: Concerto noir redux

2020 is the 200th anniversary of the Berlin Konzerthaus, a concert hall that started life as a theatre. In celebration of this anniversary as part of Musikfest Berlin, Christian Tetzlaff will perform the world premiere of a new violin concerto by Christian Jost on 6 September. The concerto, entitled Concerto noir redux, will be accompanied by Konzerthausorchester Berlin and conducted by Christoph Eschenbach. 

Concerto noir redux was originally intended to bear the same title as his opera Journey of Hope – Voyage of Despair. However, after the cancellation of the original premiere in March 2020, Jost chose instead to make changes to the music in response to recent events.

Christian Jost – Concerto noir redux: music from the lockdown

The result was not only a smaller orchestra, necessitated by social distancing, but a work that expresses a darker character and soundworld. Concerto noir redux is now one of two versions of the work Concerto noir, each with the same solo part.

Usually, I compose with a clear idea of the musical structure and of the sounds, and therefore of the course of the resulting work. But this time it was different. There was an initial thought for the opening in which the solo violin gradually separates from unison with the first violins. From this starting point the work should virtually compose itself. The resulting single-movement concerto with a single tempo (quarter = 76 espressivo) is driven by rhythmic ‘cells’. I completed the composition more or less simultaneously with the end of the lockdown, and since this had given rise to a work with predominantly dark shades of colour and sound, I considered Concerto noir to be a perfect title. Christian Jost

Photos: Adobe Stock / lakkot, Joe Quiao

2018/01/15

Work of the week – Paul Hindemith: When lilacs last in the door-yard bloom‘d

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.

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2017/08/07

Work of the week – George Gershwin: Concerto in F

The success of his Rhapsody in Blue led the New York Symphony Society to commission a piano concerto from the young George Gershwin.

As Ferde Grofé had done the orchestration for Rhapsody, Concerto in F was Gershwin’s first attempt at orchestrating. Aware of his inexperience in this area, he hired an orchestra for the last phase of the compositional process in order to experiment with different orchestral sounds and textures.
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