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2020/08/10

Work of the Week – Pedro Halffter: Dalí and Beethoven

The world premiere of Pedro Halffter’s Dali and Beethoven will take place at the Arp Museum inside the former Rolandseck train station at Remagen in the German Middle Rhine Valley on 16 August as part of the Beethoven 250 anniversary festival, BTHVN2020. The first performance of Halffter’s piano quintet has been much anticipated after the original premiere in March needed to be postponed. 

Dalí and Beethoven forges a link between the two iconic artists referenced in its title, with Halffter expressing a special affinity towards Beethoven – regularly conducting the composer’s symphonies – and that his own family shares a personal connection to Dalí. In turn, Halffter has drawn influence for his composition from a number of the painter’s works including an early portrait of Beethoven.

The venue of the premiere is itself dedicated to surrealist and contemporary painters – a fitting setting for the quintet’s premiere performance. 

The music should be understood as a sensory walk through a typical Dalí landscape in which I imagined being able to touch the imaginative figures. A meditative and yet highly contrasted essence is created within a surreal world of sounds and thoughts. (Pedro Halffter)

Pedro Halffter – Dalí and Beethoven: a link between two exceptional artists

Dalí and Beethoven was commissioned by the academy Villa Musica Rheinland-Pfalz and will be performed by young musicians alongside cellist Alexander Hülshoff and the composer at the piano. 

Festival attendees will be able to see the premiere performance of the work in two concerts at 11am and 3pm. 

Illustration: Adobe Stock / krisana, Photo: realcirculodelabradores