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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.

An die Hoffnung—A modern allusion to Beethoven

In 1804, Beethoven set Christoph August Tiedge’s poem ‘An die Hoffnung’ (from Urania) to music, revisiting and revising the vocal work nine years later (Op. 94). Beethoven’s song provides the starting point for Jost’s orchestral work of the same name, which maintains much of Beethoven’s harmonic and sung material integrated into a newly composed orchestral score. Jost’s orchestration further draws from Beethoven by instrumentally mirroring his Symphony No. 9, which will also feature in the opening concert of the festival.

The agitated, rhythmically driven composition begins with an orchestral landscape characterised by minor thirds, expanding orchestrally on Beethoven’s fragile motif of ‘hope’ and interweaving with Tiedge’s final lines: ‘whether an angel waiting above will count my tears.’ – Christian Jost

Other performances of Jost’s music at the Grafenegg Festival include the world premiere of another new work, a Fanfare for 9 wind instruments on 19 August, CocoonSymphonie on 25 August with the composer conducting, lautlos for solo cello on 28 August played by Georgy Goryunov, and Portrait for solo violin solo played by Sophie Kolarz-Lakenbacher on 10 September.