WOLFGANG RIHM • Piano Concerto No. 2(World premiere, work commissioned by the Salzburg Festival)
ANTON BRUCKNER • Symphony No. 7 in E
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Salzburg contemporary is sponsored by Roche
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As a child, Wolfgang Rihm wanted to be a painter, then a writer and finally a composer. Entire groups of works illustrate his close relationship with the visual arts, while numerous artist friendships give testament to the constant flow of energy between Wolfgang Rihm and painting.
His anti-cyclical ‘over-painting’ of works that seem to grow from one germ cell has led to large-scale open series and complexes of works. Starting with his Chiffren and Tutuguri cycles from the 1980s, Rihm made it clear that in his flow of music, form generates itself from beginnings and endings of music. The works Gedrängte Form and Gejagte Form, all the way to his Jagden und Formen (1995–2001), are eloquent examples of this, already evoking the principle of continuous shaping within their titles.
By now, there are three of Rihm’s Will Sound works: Will Sound More (2005/2011) is clearly differentiated from the wild movement of its predecessor Will Sound (2005) by its lyrical moments. ‘Something will sound because it wants to sound’, Rihm wrote about this: ‘The composer follows the will and the process of becoming and notates the spaces in between. The result is a form which reflects the energy wanting to shape itself.’ Expanding the work further, the composer has written Will Sound More Again, first performed in October 2011. With their free interplay of musical forces and their existence-affirming attitude, these Will Sound works are also an extension of his Jagden und Formen into a new complex of works.
The world premiere of a new piano concerto by Wolfgang Rihm is an event to look forward to particularly. Rihm began to compose piano music as a teenager. A first piano concerto is dated 1969. One year later and for a period of one decade exactly, he created seven very different and expansive piano works which set standards in contemporary piano literature on account of their playing technique, sensuality of sound, energy and aesthetics. Nachstudie for piano (1992/1994), lasting almost half an hour and placing enormous demands on the pianist as a whole, can be considered the crowning highlight of his piano oeuvre so far.
The entire experience of his life as a composer so far, all his studies of tradition – despite all outside interference – and all his visions for the history of piano music, far from complete: Wolfgang Rihm will bring them all to bear on his new piano concerto for pianist Tzimon Barto. One thing we can be sure of: musical balance will be attained through great arches of tension, through an audible ‘cutting into one’s own flesh’ and an articulation of tradition ‘which can only ever be my tradition’: ‘There are no historical models anymore, but there are positions which define a Now with a view to a Past (not derived from it), allowing us to see the Past as another Now (that of the past).’
by Alexander Pereira and Florian Wiegand
THE PROGRAMME 2015
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