Georg Friedrich Haas – Limited Approximations (2010)

for 6 micro-tonally tuned pianos and orchestra (2010)

Played by: Akiko Okabe, Pi-Hsien Chen, Christoph Grund, Florian Hoelscher, Julia Vogelsänger & Sven Thomas Kiebler – Piano

SWR-Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg
Conducted by Sylvain Cambreling

Georg Friedrich Haas was born in 1953 in Graz, a city in the east of Austria. His childhood was spent in the mountainous province of Vorarlberg, on the Swiss border. The landscape and the atmosphere of the place have left a lasting impression on his personality. The atmosphere was marked not so much by natural beauty in the accepted sense of the word. Rather, Haas experienced the mountains as a menace; he felt closed in by the narrow valley where the sun rarely penetrated. Nature for him represented a dark force. The composer adds: “Just as important for me was the experience of being an outsider: unlike my younger siblings, I never learned to speak the local Alemannic dialect. [source]

[read more]

haas

 

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Sofia Gubaidulina – The Canticle of the Sun (1997, rev. 1998)

Glorification of the Creator, and His Creations – the Sun and the Moon
Glorification of the Creator, the Maker of
the four elements: air, water, fire and earth
Glorification of life
Glorification of death

Sofia Gubaidulina’s 80th birthday in October 2011 generated much press coverage around the world, appropriately stressing the uniqueness and the variety of her compositional approaches. Both are in evidence on these recordings from Lockenhaus. “Canticle of the Sun”, recorded in 2010, revisits the celebrated piece that Gubaiduilina wrote in tribute to Mstislav Rostropovich on the occasion of his 70th birthday in 1997. Rostropovich’s famously sunny disposition was an inspiration, by association prompting Gubaidulina to set St Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of the Sun” for choir. In this recording, Nicolas Altstaedt, one of the most accomplished cellists of his generation, takes on the highly expressive lead role. A further, timely, Lockenhaus connection here: as of this year, Altsteadt takes over from Kremer as the new director of the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival. [source]

Gidon Kremer: Violin
Marta Sudraba: Violoncello
Nicolas Altstaedt: Violoncello
Andrei Pushkarev: Percussion
Rihards Zalupe: Percussion
Rostislav Krimer: Celesta
Riga Chamber Choir Kamēr…
Māris Sirmais: Conductor

The Canticle of the Sun (1997, rev. 1998)
for violoncello, chamber choir, percussion and celesta
Dedicated to Mstislav Rostropovich
Recorded July 2010 at Lockenhaus Festival
ECM Records New Series 2256
Genre: Classical
Style: Experimental, New Music, Post-Modern

Canticle of the Sun revisits the celebrated piece that Gubaidulina wrote in tribute to Mstislav Rostropovich on the occasion of his 70th birthday.

 

R-3481909-1332183516

Warsaw hosts 170-hour party for Chopin

Piano music has lured walkers on Warsaw’s Royal Route in to a special event over the past week: a Chopin concert, day and night, free of charge.

You could have heard jazz star Grazyna Auguscik as she improvised over Chopin melodies, or an unknown young pianist playing nocturnes at 3am to curled-up couples and solitary night-owls. Nearly 300 musicians signed up to play at “The Longest Birthday”, the idea for which came from the doubt surrounding the composer’s actual date of birth.

Church records put it at 22 February, but Fryderyk Chopin and his family always said it was 1 March. In any case, it was 200 years ago, and Poles are determined to celebrate. The government has designated 2010 Official Chopin Year, and a “celebrations committee” is co-ordinating events around the world.

Read the full article in The Independent here.