GABRIEL FAURÉ • Piano Quartet No. 2 in G minor, Op. 45
DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH • Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, op. 67
HARRISON BIRTWISTLE • Bourdon for Violin and Viola (2009)
JOHANNES BRAHMS • Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25
End of concert approx. 21:35.
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Untitled, © Eva Schlegel
Oliver Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen, a religious meditation from 1943 whose emotional intensity can be quite overwhelming, opens the chamber music cycle and also forms the beginning of an exploration of the chamber music œuvre of Harrison Birtwistle – after all, it was because of Messiaen and his Turangalîla Symphony that the former clarinettist took up composing. Stravinsky, Varèse and Messiaen may be considered his main influences, next to the construction principles of medieval and renaissance music – although this may not be obvious from listening to the music. Birtwistle, whose name, as he likes to point out, sounds similar to “bird-whistle”, has always been touched particularly by the physicality of sounds, which is expressed especially in his chamber music output. The earliest among the works presented in our cycle is 5 Distances for 5 Instruments (1992), which reflects his examination of Stockhausen’s Zeitmaße. The Ensemble WienBerlin combines it with Ligeti’s Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet and the world premiere of a work commissioned by the Salzburg Festival from Toshio Hosokawa, in addition to some late-romantic works acting as “bookends” for its concert. The evening presented by the brothers Capuçons & Friends also has a romantic orientation: it contrasts Birtwistle’s Piano Trio from 2010 and Bourdon from 2009 with two Piano Quartets by Fauré and Brahms. The arrangements of three Fugues from Bach’s The Art of Fugue by the English composer born in 1934 are charmingly framed in the concert of the Simón Bolívar String Quartet: on the one hand by the Argentinean Alberto Ginastera’s String Quartet No. 1, and on the other by Maurice Ravel’s only string quartet, in which the composer used rhapsodic elements as well as Basque dance rhythms.
by Alexander Pereira and Florian Wiegand
THE PROGRAMME 2014
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