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2020/03/30

Work of the Week – György Ligeti: Kammerkonzert

Through the myriad compositional styles György Ligeti explored between the 1940s and the 2000s, the composer’s strict focus on form and instrumentation always remained at the forefront of his work. Among the best examples of this is undoubtedly his Kammerkonzert (Chamber Concerto) from the middle period of his output. Exactly 50 years ago, on 5 April 1970, Friedrich Cerha and his ensemble ‘die reihe’ premiered the first two movements of this work in Baltimore. The third movement followed shortly after, premiering that May in Vienna, and the concerto’s final movement was first performed the following October in Berlin. 

The scoring of Kammerkonzert for thirteen players sits at the midpoint between chamber music and a more symphonic texture. The work is highly varied, encompassing passages of extreme density and contrasting sections where individual instruments emerge from the ensemble with exposed melodic lines reminiscent of Schoenberg and Berg’s expressive twelve-note writing, or of virtuosic cadenzas.

György Ligeti – Kammerkonzert: from failure to standard repertoire

The four-movement work is a concerto in the sense that all 13 players are equal and have virtuoso solo tasks. Rather than frequent changes between soli and tutti, there is constant concerto-like cooperation. The parts always flow simultaneously but use different rhythmic configurations and tempi. […] The world premiere of the completed Chamber Concerto in 1970 was a complete failure. Critics wrote that this work massively fell behind my second string quartet, its predecessor. However, as time went by, more and more ensembles performed it multiple times. Nowadays, it is a standard repertoire work because its instrumentation is very fitting for groups like the Asko ensemble. All these things are impossible to anticipate for a composer. – György Ligeti

In advance of Ligetis centenary on 28 May 2023, we invite you to explore his music further. We’ve created an extensive playlist with detailed insights exploring Ligeti’s work follow the link below to find out more.

2016/09/01

Schott Journal: New Look of the Customer Magazine

Exactly 50 years ago in the autumn of 1966, the Schott publishing house launched a customer magazine presenting new works and products. The ‘Schott-Kurier’ consisted of four pages printed in black and white and was written in German, and therefore only distributed within Germany. Nowadays, our customer magazine has long been bilingual and involves a collaboration of our editors across the world in Mainz, London, Tokyo and New York. The journal is sent to musicians and programmers in over 50 countries and its 20 to 24 pages are devoted not only to new publications and premieres, but also to particularly fascinating works from our back catalogue, united under specific themes.

Schott Journal – News for Music Makers

Today you have received our first magazine with a new look. We have overhauled our layout, restructured our topics and created a special column for children’s music in concert and onstage entitled ‘Children’s Corner’. ‘Schott aktuell’ has been renamed Schott Journal – News for Music Makers. Our goal is to provide even better, more clearly organized and more interesting information on the latest news from Schott.

Vorstellung des neuen "Schott Kurier" im Sommer 1966
Ancestor of the new Schott Journal: Introduction of the “Schott Kurier” in 1966

This first issue is devoted to major choral symphonic works, prompted by a series of premieres of compositions by Pēteris Vasks, Stefan Heucke and our American composer Hannah Lash. fortunately, choral singing is again growing in popularity. In this issue, we hope you make great discoveries of new works, particularly if you are looking for more substantial, large-scale choral symphonies.

World Premieres by:

Pēteris Vasks, Pierre Jalbert, Hannah Lash, Peter Eötvös, Toshio Hosokawa, Alexander Goehr, Richard Wagner, Stefan Heucke, and Enjott Schneider

Forst nights of works by:

Douglas J. Cuomo, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss, Viktor Ullmann, Engelbert Humperdinck, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Jacques Offenbach, Modest Mussorgskij, Harry Partch, Eberhard Streul, Wilfried Hiller, Nino Rota, Carl Orff, Toshio Hosokawa, György Ligeti, and Paul Lincke

Further Spotlights:

Aribert Reimann, Luigi Nono, Howard Shore, Gustav Mahler/Yoel Gamzou, Chaya Czernowin