Georg Friedrich Haas: Release

Georg Friedrich Haas: Release

The Recital Hall of Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie was inaugurated with Georg Friedrich Haas’ newest ensemble composition.


Ensemble Resonanz, Emilio Pomarico
Elbphilharmonie Hamburg (Opening of the Recital Hall), 12.01.2017, 15.01.2017, 20.01.2017
Bonn, Bundeskunsthalle, 21.01.2017


„The title Release not only refer to the liberating feeling that the opening of the Elbphilharmonie creates in the whole city of Hamburg and in the international music world. The title describes more than the release of sounds. The dedication to the famous American sex therapist Barbara Carrellas refers to the liberating experiences that Georg Friedrich Haas has made with his new wife Mollena Lee Williams-Haas in the past years in New York.

In several major interviews Haas has described how the discovery of his long-suppressed sexuality led to a personal and artistic release. He has also laid bare his own dark family history without excusing it, again acknowledging his abysses.

The fact that Haas has decided to publicly negotiate these private themes is probably directly related to his ethos as an artist: as a person who, with his life and his work, exemplifies and fights for the threatened utopia of freedom. This struggle, experienced through the ecstatic qualities emanating from the composer's intensive overtone play, can release the listener as well. “Ins Hoffene”, Hölderlin would have said. No need to fear the threshold.”

Author: Patrick Hahn
Published with the kind permission of Ensemble Resonanz


13 January 2017
„This was a really, really great listening experience.“

New York Times
13 January 2017
“Making lavish use of the microtonal shimmies for which this Austrian-born composer is known”

16 January 2017
“The music rises and falls in in ecstatic sound waves. The work is dedicated to the American sex therapist Barbara Carrellas, which refers to the composer’s personal process of liberation and his joy of euphony – the euphony of a music that liberated its overtones and micro intervals from the tempered sound system. There is also a joy of general openness that the Elbphilharmonie aims to represent. (…) His overabundance of timbre arising out of micro tonality was particularly well-suited for testing the acoustics of the excellent room.”

Hamburger Abendblatt
13 January 2017
„For the world premiere of his new chamber orchestra piece, Georg Friedrich Haas spatialized his trademark: the shifting of perspectives.”

14 January 2017
“I would place Release in the thusly great tradition of tone poems, from the Four Seasons to the Pastoral Symphony to Strauss and Messiaen’s Birds and Britten’s Sea Interludes.”

Frankfurter Rundschau
13 January 2017
„A work that streams in a powerful, individualistic and extremely emotionally way and that does not sound academic in spite of its harmonic sophistication.”

16 January 2017
“The composer Georg Friedrich Haas used the rear gallery (of the recital hall) as a theatrically reversed farewell symphony in his soundscape composition" Release ". The musicians appear on stage and begin playing one by one."

Georg Friedrich Haas: composer profile
Photo: Jann Wilken