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2020/09/07

Work of the Week – Jörg Widmann: Zeitensprünge

The Staatskappelle Berlin celebrates its impressive history as it marks its 450th anniversary this year. The earliest sources mentioning the orchestra date from 1570. On 11 September, the world premiere of a new work by Jörg Widmann commissioned specially for the occasion, Zeitensprünge (Leaps in time), will be given in a concert conducted by Daniel Barenboim at the Berlin State Opera House. 

The title Zeitensprünge is a pun about musical time-travel and stylistic escapades. Widmann explores the multiple stylistic periods through which the orchestra has lived during its long history, with the opening bars featuring an off-stage ensemble playing renaissance dances. Only when the musicians enter the stage does the idea of conducting start to take form, and a concert of today’s understanding commences. 

Jörg Widmann – Zeitensprünge: A Concerto for Orchestra in a nutshell

Though Zeitensprünge is a condensed 10-minute orchestral work of only 450 bars (one for each year of the Staatskapelle´s history), it nevertheless has everything a full-scale Concerto for Orchestra needs. There are solos from nearly every section of the orchestra, ensembles such as fanfares emerge from the texture, medieval winds and consorts play next to each other, and Widmann uses a variety of musical forms to lead to a brilliant final canon that symbolises many becoming one. 

“When I sit in front of a sheet of manuscript paper, I don’t keep thinking ‘you have to invent something new’. Not at all. My head is full of harmonies, connections and combinations that have never been heard before. My problem is to find forms for them. I am now in a stage of fighting to find these new forms.” – Jörg Widmann 

Photos:Marco Borggrve, Adobe Stock / spuno

2017/10/30

Work of the Week – Jörg Widmann – Au cœur de Paris

Banner Jörg Widmann

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.

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2017/01/09

Work of the Week – Jörg Widmann: ARCHE

On 13 January 2017, Jörg Widmann’s new oratorio ARCHE will receive its premiere, marking the opening of the new Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg. Soprano Marlis Petersen and baritone Thomas E. Bauer will perform alongside the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra conducted by Kent Nagano, with the combined choral forces of the Staatsopernchor, the choir of the AUDI Jugendakademie and the Hamburger Alsterspatzen.

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2016/09/26

Work of the Week – Peter Eötvös: The Sirens Cycle

Work of the Week - Peter Eotvos The Sirens Cycle

On 1 October, Peter Eötvös’ new work The Sirens Cycle (2015-2016) for string quartet and coloratura soprano will be premiered at London’s Wigmore Hall by Piia Komsi and the Calder Quartet.

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2016/07/04

Work of the Week – Jörg Widmann: Messe

On 6 July, Jörg Widmann’s Messe for orchestra will be performed by the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich with whom Widmann has held the title of ‘Creative Chair’ for the 2015/16 season.

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