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Salzburg contemporary • Eötvös • Lecture Concert Peter Eötvös


PETER EÖTVÖS Korrespondenz, Scenes for string quartet (1992)


End of concert approx. 16:00 pm.

Print programme (PDF)


Peter Eötvös, Moderation
Calder Quartet
Benjamin Jacobson, Violin
Andrew Bulbrook, Violin
Jonathan Moerschel, Viola
Eric Byers, Cello

Motive Salzburg contemporary, © Robert Mertens


Mozarteum, Wiener Saal



Salzburg contemporary is sponsored by Roche
Youth! Arts! Science!

“My music is theatre music; it is not incidental music, but theatre in and of itself’, Peter Eötvös confesses. In 1966, the Hungarian from Transylvania moved to Cologne for his studies. He subsequently worked closely with Karlheinz Stockhausen, took over the Ensemble intercontemporain from Pierre Boulez and developed into one of the most important composers, conductors and teachers of our times. His most recent appearance at the Salzburg Festival was in 2008, when he conducted a dazzling new production of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle. Yes, theatre: indeed, Eötvös’ multi-faceted œuvre, often developing new facets from one work to the next, is characterized by a speech-like, gestural urgency. Even his purely instrumental pieces occasionally feature animated dialogues and arguments in which clearly delineated figures of sound enter into dramatic exchanges – with a plasticity of expression often intensified in an experimental manner, yet rooted within traditions going back to the baroque and renaissance eras. Thus, it is hardly surprising that Shadows focuses on flute and clarinet, with instrumental groups functioning as their resounding shadows; that the four parts of the wordless Chinese Opera portray the styles of renowned opera directors; that Korrespondenz was inspired by selected passages from the correspondence between Mozart and his father. And the world premiere of Halleluja – Oratorium balbulum, based on a text by writer Péter Esterházy, features, in the composer’s revealing words, ‘an angel (this time a woman with a smoky voice), a stuttering prophet, a self-confident choir that wants to sing not only “Hallelujah”, and the narrator, trying to explain the fragmentary scenes to the esteemed audience’. Curtain up!

Walter Weidringer

Translated by Alexa Nieschlag