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Essay

On the instinctual life of sounds

Karol Szymanowski‘s life comprises a Polish lack of openness and Viennese bohème, Catholic strictness and the Dionysian, ecstasy and ascesis.

If Scriabin could be called a constructor and programmaticist of sound ecstasies, in Szymanowski’s works ecstasy is rather coming from within and unfolding out of the mysterioso at the beginnings of the movements in a fever curve that rises continually, discharging itself in a vocal and instrumental apotheosis – as exemplified in his operas and concertos. 

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Milestones

Friedrich Cerha: Spiegel I-VII

“One thing develops and leads to another, processes influence each other, interfere with and displace each other.” (Friedrich Cerha)

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Photo: Kaupo Kikkas / Arvo Pärt Centre
Work insights

Songs from Childhood

An unusual editorial project that in a certain way traces a musical arc across his oeuvre: Arvo Pärt’s Songs from Childhood.

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Interview

Boulez on Boulez

“And then you discover yourself, progressively, just like archaeologists discover an old civilization.”

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Essay

The musical reactionary

“Schönberg” is not only the name of a great composer, but also a word that signifies a complete subversion of and break with tradition.

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Interview

What is atonal?

Even if a few harmonic resources are lost along with major and minor, all of the other prerequisites of “serious” music are preserved.

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Work insights

Atmosphères

Premiered in 1961, this sound-mass composition is a classic work of modernism.

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© Bartók Archives, Institute of Musicology, Research Centre for the Humanities, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Essay

“This is truly wonderful”

Bartók’s relationship with Vienna can be traced back to his first visit in 1897 and ends with the concert in the Großer Musikvereinssaal on 18 May 1936.

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Essay

In remembrance of Otto Tomek

Otto Tomek died on 18 February. As shown by the tributes from our composers, he was more than just an important sponsor and someone who made things happen.

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Interview, Work insights

“It is more vibrant”

Orchestral version (1914) of the “Chamber Symphony” – An interview with Philippe Jordan 

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Work insights

Back to the future

“The premiere of an opera by Harrison Birtwistle is now a national event which even makes it into the weekend supplement.”

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© courtesy of Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, New York
Interview

“Off to Mahagonny”

Kim Kowalke, President of the Kurt Weill Foundation in New York, explains the history, reception, and performance issues of Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny.

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© Wiener Festwochen
Interview

“How does one survive the day?”

Leoš Janáček’s From the House of the Dead was hailed the “performance of the year” when Pierre Boulez and Patrice Chéreau unveiled their new international co-production.

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© Janáček Museum Brno
Essay

Remembering Leoš Janáček

Max Brod (1884–1968) wrote this obituary of Leoš Janáček in 1928. It is a moving document testifying to a great friendship.

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Berg: Wozzeck
Work insights

Wozzeck

The Three Fragments from Wozzeck were premiered as early as 1924, at the Frankfurt Tonkünstlerfest.

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Berg: Lulu
Work insights

Lulu

Alban Berg died on 24 December 1935, before he could finish his opera Lulu.

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Wagner: Rheingold
Work insights

A new perspective on Wagner

With four scenes and lasting around two-and-a-half hours, Das Rheingold is the shortest evening of Richard Wagner’s Ring des Nibelungen.

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© http://jonde.mcu.es
Interview

“I hear the silence here”

Cristóbal Halffter became involved with opera relatively late. His [first,] Don Quijote, which premiered in 2000 in Madrid, is a setting of the most renowned work in Spanish literature.

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© Universal Edition/Eric Marinitsch
Essay

“A bedrock for your voice”

David Fennessy: “I think each piece has its own individual technique but what people hear is something much deeper and profound and long lasting.”

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© Lucerne Festival / Priska Ketterer
Essay

Exploring the depths

Founded in tradition, Haas’ oeuvre conquers listeners with its truly unprecedented, utopian adventures in sound.

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