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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

2020/04/06

Work of the Week – Toshio Hosokawa: Meditation to the victims of Tsunami (3.11)

+++ After the following story was published, we learned that the concert and live-streaming had to be cancelled as well. +++

On 11 April, the NHK Symphony Orchestra will perform Toshio Hosokawa’s Meditation to the victims of Tsunami (3.11) as part of a livestream concert conducted by Masaru Kumakura. The concert has been organised to replace the orchestra’s scheduled public performance in response to ongoing restrictions of COVID-19.  Continue reading “Work of the Week – Toshio Hosokawa: Meditation to the victims of Tsunami (3.11)”

2020/02/10

Work of the Week – Julian Anderson: Litanies

On 12 February, Pascal Rophé will direct the Orchestre National de Radio France and soloist Alban Gerhardt in the world premiere of Julian Anderson’s Litanies for cello and orchestra as part of the annual Festival Présences. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Julian Anderson: Litanies”

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.

Continue reading “Work of the Week – Jörg Widmann – Au cœur de Paris”

2016/11/29

Andrew Norman Wins the 2017 Grawemeyer Award

Schott Music is thrilled to announce that Andrew Norman has been named the winner of the prestigious 2017 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for his large-scale orchestral work Play by University of Louisville, KY.

In three movements, Play explores the relationship of choice and chance, free will and control. It investigates the ways musicians in an orchestra can play with, against, or apart from one another; and maps concepts from the world of video gaming onto traditional symphonic structures to tell a fractured narrative of power, manipulation, deceit and, ultimately, cooperation.

Grawemeyer Award Director Marc Satterwhite remarks:

Play combines brilliant orchestration, which is at once wildly inventive and idiomatic, with a terrific and convincing musical shape based on a relatively small amount of musical source material. It ranges effortlessly from brash to intimate and holds the listener’s interest for all of its 47 minutes—no small feat in these days of shortened attention spans.”

2017 Grawemeyer Award for a composer “whose voice will resonate long into the future”

Schott Music is deeply proud of our own Andrew Norman, whose music we have published exclusively worldwide since 2007. Norman Ryan, Vice President of Composers & Repertoire, comments:

“Andrew’s unique voice is a quintessential marriage of the contemporary times we live in with the structure of classical forms handed down through the ages. From his earliest pieces such as Sacred Geometry and Gran Turismo through to Play, his most ambitious work to date, Andrew’s voice is one we have always believed will resonate long into the future and we are thrilled that Play has been recognized with this well deserved honor.”


Play
was commissioned by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, with funding from Music Alive, a national residency program of the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA. The Boston Modern Orchestra Project performed the piece’s premiere in 2013, and released a recording on its own label.  Since then, the piece has garnered considerable attention and critical acclaim. It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition, and critic and musicologist William Robin said it “might be the best orchestral work that the twenty-first century has seen thus far. In October, the Los Angeles Philharmonic gave the premiere performance of Play in its revised form.

2016/08/15

Work of the Week – Christian Jost: An die Hoffnung

Christian Jost, Klaus Florian Vogt: An die Hoffnung

On 19 August, the world premiere of Christian Jost’s An die Hoffnung will be performed by Yutaka Sado and the Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich with tenor Klaus Florian Vogt, opening the 10th annual Grafenegg Festival. Jost was commissioned to write An die Hoffnung as Composer in Residence at this year’s festival. The residency will include performances of several of his existing compositions and he will also appear as a conductor and leader of the young composers’ workshop INK STILL WET from 1-5 September. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Christian Jost: An die Hoffnung”