On February 27 in Moscow, Alberto Colla’s Quartetto N. 3. Hyperthematic, will be premiered in Russia. The David Oistrakh Quartet will perform the work at the Vernadsky Concert Hall, as part of the 20th International Art Festival “Art November”.
In the same evening, another Colla’s composition, Quintetto in memoria di Dmitry Shostakovich for piano and string quartet, will have its Russian premiere, pianist Sergio Marchegiani.
Rai Nuova Musica, the contemporary music concerts yearly organized by Orchestra Nazionale della RAI is taking place now, in Turin. On February 24, the orchestra will be performing the Italian premiere of Colla's Starlights, Symphonic Poem on the Life of a Star, conducting by Pietro Mianiti, meanwhile on March 1 it’s the turn of Soffio e Forma by Salvatore Sciarrino (first performance in Italy) and Emanuele Casale’s A Victor Hugo Daza, both conducted by Marco Angius.
The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra have commissioned Luca Francesconi to write a new concerto for the violinist Leila Josefowics. The world premiere of the piece, Duende - The Dark Notes, will be performed by the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Susanna Mälkki at the Berwaldhallen in Stockholm on 20 February 2014 (additional performance on 21). “Historically – says Francesconi – duende is the demon of flamenco. As Federico Garcìa Lorca explains, it is a subterranean force of unheard-of power that escapes rational control. To recover a primitive force in the instrument that perhaps most embodies the history of the West it is necessary to make a perilous descent into the underworld of dark notes, or a flight beyond the orbit of the earth. Which amounts to the same thing. Extremely difficult. But without duende we remain bolted to the ground.” The concerto will also be performed – in the form of national premiere and again with Leila Josefowics – by the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI under the direction of Susanna Mälkki in Turin on 2 May.
On February 18, Andrus Kallastu will conduct the Estonian premiere of Vortex temporum I, II, III for piano and five instruments by Gérard Grisey. The concert will take place in Tallin, Estonia Concert Hall, as part of the Grisey, Levinas: French Modernist Masterpieces concert.
Glamorama spies for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano by Lorenzo Ferrero will have its American premiere on February 17. The Aura Contemporary Ensemble will perform the composition at the University of Houston, Moores School of Music, Moores Opera House.
Last October Gérard Grisey’s Vortex Temporum I II III in a version accompanied by the choreography of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker began an extensive tour at the Ruhrtriennale in Bochum. The interpreters were the ballet company Rosas and Ensemble Ictus under the direction of Georges-Elie Octors. The tour has since visited Brussels, Bruges, Leuven, Antwerp, Lille and Athens and its next stop will be at the Cultuurcentrum in Hasselt on 5 February. After that, it will proceed to the Künstlerhaus Mousonturm in Frankfurt on 22 February (additional performance on 23 February), the Comédie in Clermont-Ferrand on 18 March, the Hyppodrome in Douai on 20 March, the MC2 in Grenoble on 23-25 April and to Théâtre de la Ville in Paris on 28-30 April. For further performances we suggest entering Ictus Ensemble website (http://www.ictus.be/project/vortex-temporum).
Vortex Temporum was composed between 1994 and 1996 for a small ensemble made up of flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello and piano. Divided into three parts, the piece has a title that points to the beginning of a rotation and, in fact, Grisey has explained that he wanted to explore in depth the possibilities inhering to the use of the same material in different times (ordinary time, expanded time and contracted time).
Thus, alongside the spectral writing, there unfolds a game obtained by the presence of multiple times informing a construction based on structural correspondences tied to the number three. The initial cell is drawn from Maurice Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe and the “vortex” has inspired the composer to write harmonics concentrated around the sounds of the diminished seventh chord, the “rotational” chord par excellence. Each of the four sounds lead to multiple modulations and the composer has declared that he even felt pushed to seek whatever significant or innovative qualities there might still be in the tonal system, though he himself by then was distant from it. The three parts of Vortex Temporum are dedicated to Gérard Zinsstag, Salvatore Sciarrino and Helmut Lachenmann.
On February 3, Unfolding for string quartet and electronics, by Francesca Verunelli, will be performed for the first time in Italy. The concert will take place in Rome, Villa Medici, Grand Salon, as part of the Controtempo Festival, and will be performed by the Tana Ensemble.
Italian premiere for Mauro Lanza in Rome on February 3. Der Kampf zwischen Karneval und Fasten for double string quartet, will be presented at Villa Medici, Grand Salon, by the Quatuor Tana and the Quatuor Qvixote, as part of the Controtempo Festival.
Merkavo’t for orchestra by Betty Olivero will be played for the first time in Portugal, Porto, on February 1. The Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música conducted by Gunter Neuhold, will play the composition at the Casa da Música, Suggia Hall.
French premiere of Samuel Sené’s musical adaptation of Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman (Le vaisseau fantôme) on January 31 at the Opéra de Rouen Haute Normandie in Rouen (additional performances February 1 and 2). Sené’s adaptation of Wagner’s opera will be performed by the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Rouen conducted by Julien Masmondet.
Winner of the Wagner200 competition, the work has been promoted by As.Li.Co. (Associazione Lirico e Concertistica Italiana) in the context of the project Opera Domani.
Launched in 1997 in collaboration with the Lombardy Regional Government, Opera Domani (which forms part of the activities of R.E.S.E.O. - Rèseau Europèen des Services èducatifs des maisons d'Opèra) is directed at primary and secondary school teachers with a view to familiarising children and adolescents with opera by way of producing reduced versions of famous operas for young audiences. This objective has been constantly and successfully pursued by As.Li.Co. for more than 60 years.
Opera Domani’s 2013 project is a co-production by As.Li.Co., Theater Magdeburg (Germany) and Opera de Rouen Haute-Normandie (France).
On January 29 Luigi Nono would have turned 90. 24 years have passed since his premature death (8 May 1990) and over this period the performance of his music has never ceased to attract interest. On the contrary, it has enjoyed more and more attention in the programmes of the world’s most prestigious concert halls and festivals.
On January 25 Tempi burrascosi (Storming Times), the children opera “favola musicale” by Nicola Campogrande, text by Dario Voltolini, will be staged in Mantua, in the new version for voice, piano and percussion. Paola Roman, voice, Andrea Rebaudengo, piano and Simone Beneventi, percussion, staging and projections by Controluce Teatro d’Ombre, will present the composition at Teatro Bibiena (addtional performance on January 26 at Teatro Ariston).
After a successful tournée by the Paris Mozart Orchestra, scheduled in the first part of 2014, Soudain dans la forêt profonde by Fabio Vacchi, will be performed, once more in Paris (Salle Pleyel), by the orchestra conducted by Claire Gibault, on January 25 . The actress is Julie Sicard.
The new version of Emanuele Casale’s Conversazioni con Chomsky, talk-opera in one act on Noam Chomsky’s traces, for ensemble, voice, electronics and images will be staged in Rome (Auditorium Parco della Musica) on January 24. The performance is in the frame of Festival delle Scienze 2014, and the presence of Noam Chomsky is foreseen. The singer Diana Torto and the PMCE Ensemble are conducted by Tonino Battista. The direction is by Fabio Cherstich and the video by Igor Renzetti. Conversazioni con Chomsky was commissioned by Fondazione I Teatri di Reggio Emilia which premiered the work in 2010.
Gérard Grisey’s Mégalithes, for fifteen brass players, will have its UK premiere in London on January 22. The composition will be presented at the Barbican by BBC Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Ilan Volkov.
Casa Ricordi joins with the entire music world in expressing its sadness at the loss of the eminent musician, intellectual and conductor Maestro Claudio Abbado. Our gratitude for his passion and constant commitment to the spread and enrichment of musical culture, understood not least as an instrument for personal growth, is immense. It is impossible not to recall Abbado’s support for the civil rights battles of the 70s alongside his fellow musicians and friends Luigi Nono and Maurizio Pollini. Equally unforgettable were his concerts and opera productions.
A great supporter of contemporary music, Claudio Abbado conducted innumerable world premieres of the most famous composers of the second half of the 20th century.
Casa Ricordi had the privilege of collaborating with Claudio Abbado in particular in the world premieres of Luigi Nono’s operas Al gran sole carico d’amore (Milan, 1975-1978) and Prometeo (Venice, 1984-1985). Another memorable collaboration was the first production of the critical edition of Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims which was initially performed at the Festival Rossini in Pesaro in August 1984 and then revived in Milan the following year at the Teatro alla Scala.
On 21 January 2014 the world premiere of Carlo Boccadoro’s Box of Paints will take place in Milan. The piece, for flute and ensemble, will be performed by Sentieri selvaggi and conducted by Boccadoro himself as part of the 150th concert season of the Società del Quartetto (which has commissioned the work). The last of a series of pieces that bring out the qualities of the ensemble’s soloists, Box of Paints is dedicated to Paola Fré (the flutist) and, in contrast with the preceding pieces by Boccadoro, rather than having an aggressive character, it is marked by a light sonority. In the course of the four movements the soloist passes from a treble flute to a C flute and even to a piccolo in an exuberant final dance.
Franco Donatoni’s Darkness for six percussionists will have its Swiss premiere in Geneva on January 19. The composition will be performed by Eklekto at the Musée d’art et d’histoire de Genève, as part of the Ensemble Contrechamps Season.
The six percussion version of Ionisation by Edgard Varèse, realized in the sixties by Georges Van Gucht (member of Percussions de Strasbourg), will have its Italian premiere in Padua, C. Pollini Auditorium, on January 16 (further performance in Monfalcone Theatre on January 17). The Tetraktis Group will perform the composition as part of the Amici della Musica di Padova season.
Alberto Colla’s Ouverture pour l’eveil des Peuples has been commissioned for the 40th anniversary of the Orchestre National d’Île-de-France. The intention of the composer, with this powerful piece, is to make the music as energetic as the force of humanity in defense of human liberties for people of all identities. Citizens, the defenders of democracy against the decay of the system, are the ‘actors’ of a historical miracle: the “awaking of the people,” and it is they who are the heroes. The world premiere of the work, to be conducted by Thomas Søndergård, will take place in Puteaux on January 10, 2014, with additional performances on January 12, 18, and 19 at the Salle Pleyel in Paris.