Phœnix

Vigilia

Concert in collaboration with the “SCHOLA HEIDELBERG” (director: Ekkehard Windrich)

The oeuvre of the German composer and musicologist Wolfgang Rihm is immense. In addition to three symphonies, nine operas and a large number of solo and chamber music works, “Vigilia” occupies a very special place as one of the most impressive compositions in his oeuvre. This music manages to be directly accessible to both connoisseurs and less accustomed listeners of new music. Vigils are night watches in the Catholic liturgy, which are spent in scripture readings or prayers and, in the concentration of darkness, are intended to prepare for special church festivals, especially Easter. Rihm refers to this custom and the old music-historical tradition of the responsorial cycle, as shaped by Carlo Gesualdo (1560-1613), for example. Wolfgang Rihm used seven Passion texts as a textual basis, which are sung a capella by a six-part vocal ensemble. These motets are each interrupted by instrumental interludes (Sonata I-VII). In the most extensive final part (Miserere), the instrumental and vocal ensembles perform together.


Program

Wolfgang Rihm (*1952) “Vigilia” for six voices and ensemble (2001–2006) – 65'
Jürg Henneberger
conductor
Ekkehard Windrich
choir direction
Sarah M. Newman
soprano
Julie C. Eggli
alto
Johannes Mayer
tenor
Jörg Deutschewitz
tenor
Ansgar Theis
baritone
Florian Drexel
bass
Toshiko Sakakibara
clarinet
Aurélien Tschopp
horn
Mikael Rudolfsson
trombone
Michael Büttler
trombone
Janne Jakobsson
tuba
Daniel Stalder
percussion
Nicolas Venner
Orgel
Petra Ackermann
viola
Benedikt Böhlen
cello
Aleksander Gabryś
double bass
Phœnix

Nosferatu

Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau (1888 – 1931) / Jannik Giger (*1985): “Nosferatu – A Symphony of Horror” (1922/2017)

As a composer and filmmaker, Jannik Giger is used to exploring and overcoming the boundaries between genres. Projects by and with him always bear his unmistakable signature. His affinity with film allows him to set Murnau’s classic “Nosferatu” to music in a sensitive and coherent way, without ever becoming bold or illustrative.

For his new setting of the silent film classic “Nosferatu – A Symphony of Horror” (1922), which was premiered at the Bern Music Festival in 2017, Jannik Giger drew on set pieces from soundtracks to films by David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock as well as fragments from the Romantic sound world of Franz Schubert. These reminiscences haunt the score, on the one hand as played samples and on the other as compositional recreations for fourteen instrumentalists, thus linking the historicity of the film with the present of its performance. In the transformation of these traces of the sounding past and their juxtaposition with live musicians, Giger blurs the dividing lines between real and virtual sound production. He dissolves the conventional film-musical orchestral sound by overwriting it with a sound collage of alienated orchestral sounds. This has an intoxicating sonic sensuality and fits cleverly into Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau’s poetic imagery, underlining the dramaturgy of the film and yet remaining an independent unit of meaning. Furthermore, Giger’s composition repeatedly identifies its level of quotation as such and thus becomes a reflection on the nature and effect of film music. (Moritz Achermann)


Program

Jannik Giger (*1985) “Nosferatu – A Symphony of Horror” for ensemble and electronics (with film) (2017) – 90’
Jürg Henneberger
conductor
Christoph Bösch
flute
Toshiko Sakakibara
bass clarinet
Mihaly Fliegauf
contraforte
Aurélien Tschopp
horn
Michael Büttler
trombone
Daniel Stalder
percussion
Mauricio Silva Orendain
arciorgano
Kirill Zvegintsov
piano
Samuel Wettstein
piano
Friedemann Treiber
violin
David Sontòn Caflisch
violin
Petra Ackermann
viola
Stéphanie Meyer
cello
Martin Jaggi
cello
electronics
Phœnix

Davidovsky +

Concert in collaboration with the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), class for electro-acoustic composition Germán Toro Pérez

Mario Davidovsky’s “Synchronisms” are masterpieces of instrumental music with playback tape, which we had already planned in 2020 but were unable to perform due to the coronavirus. Instead, a double LP was created. For the new edition of the idea of playing Davidovsky’s music in concert, we were able to win the ICST of the ZHdK as a co-production partner. This collaboration will result in seven new compositions by students for the same instrumentation.

Mario Davidovsky is one of the great figures of American New Music – but has hardly been played in Europe. As a pioneer of electronic music, he was already working at the “Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center” in 1960. His work includes by far not only electronic music. His most famous works, the “Synchronisms”, a series of over a dozen works written over a period of more than 40 years, have influenced generations of composers. In combining “classical” instruments with pre-produced electronic sounds, Davidovsky, unlike many other composers of this genre, is not interested in special “sound effects” in any way, but rather seeks a fusion of instrumental sound with electronics, resulting in both continuity and intrinsic musical expression. The earliest “Synchronisms” date from a time when today’s sound technology was still in its infancy, but they are nevertheless masterpieces without equal; the long time span in which the “Synchronisms” were created also documents the technical progress in this field over the time. In addition to a large number of awards for his work, Mario Davidovsky received the Pulitzer Prize in 1971 explicitly for his work “Synchronisms No. 6”.


Program

Mario Davidovsky (1934–2019) “Synchronisms No. 1” for flute and electronic sounds (1963) – 4’21’’ Mario Davidovsky (1934–2019) “Synchronisms No. 3” for cello and electronic sounds (1964) – 5’03’’ Mario Davidovsky (1934–2019) “Synchronisms No. 6” for piano and electronic sounds (1970) – 7’32’’ Mario Davidovsky (1934–2019) “Synchronisms No. 9” for violin and tape (1988) – 8’52’’ Mario Davidovsky (1934–2019) “Synchronisms No. 10” for guitar and tape (1992) – 9’50’’ Mario Davidovsky (1934–2019) “Synchronisms No. 11” for contrabass and electronic sounds (2005) – 7’23’’ Mario Davidovsky (1934–2019) “Synchronisms No. 12” for clarinet and electronic sounds (2006) – 6’34’’ Students of ZHdK: Joan Jordi Oliver Arcos (*1994) New Work for contrabass and electronics (WP, commission EPhB) – 8–10’ Nuño Fernández Ezquerra (*1992) New Work for electric guitar and electronics (WP, commission EPhB) – 5–7’ Felix Friedrich (*2003) New Work for cello and electronics (WP, commission EPhB) – 7–9’ Seçil Metin (*1994) New Work for piano and electronics (WP, commission EPhB) – 6–7’ Andrzej Ojczenasz (*1992) New Work for flute and electronics (WP, commission EPhB) – ca. 5’ Martin Reck (*1989) New Work for clarinet and electronics (WP, commission EPhB) – 4–6’ Franziska Wilhelm (*2003) New Work for violin and electronics (WP, commission EPhB) – ca. 6’
Christoph Bösch
flute
Toshiko Sakakibara
clarinet
Maurizio Grandinetti
guitar, electric guitar
Ludovic Van Hellemont
piano
Friedemann Treiber
violin
Stéphanie Meyer
cello
Aleksander Gabryś
double bass
sound design
Jürg Henneberger
supervision
Germán Toro Pérez
supervision
Phœnix

In Memoriam Peter Eötvös

In Memoriam Peter Eötvös (2.1.1944–24.3.2024)

We are planning a memorial concert for the important Hungarian composer and conductor Peter Eötvös, who died unexpectedly on March 24 this year, with three ensemble works that Eötvös wrote over a period of 32 years. Our guest conductor is the Hungarian composer, clarinettist and conductor Gregory Vajda. He has been the program director of the “Peter Eötvös Contemporary Music Foundation” in Budapest since 2018.


Program

Peter Eötvös (1944–2024) “Sequences of the Wind” for flute and ensemble (1975–2002) – 29’ Peter Eötvös (1944–2024) “Octet” for flute, clarinet, 2 bassoons, 2 trumpets and 2 trombones (2007) – 15’ Peter Eötvös (1944–2024) “Brass – The Metal Space” actions for 7 brass players and 2 percussionists without conductor (1990) – 22’
Gregory Vajda
conductor
Christoph Bösch
flute, alto flute, piccolo
Antje Thierbach
oboe, English horn
Richard Haynes
clarinet
clarinet
bass clarinet
Edurne Santos Arrastua
bassoon
Mihaly Fliegauf
bassoon
Aurélien Tschopp
horn
horn
Nenad Marković
trumpet
trumpet
Michael Büttler
trombone
trombone
Janne Jakobsson
tuba
Nejc Grm
accordion
João Pacheco
percussion
Daniel Stalder
percussion
Aleksander Gabryś
double bass
Phœnix

Dada

An immanent musical-theatrical firework spectacle for and with Svea Schildknecht.

György Ligeti’s only opera “Le Grand Macabre” is based on a play by the Belgian poet Michel de Ghelderode, one of the most important representatives of absurdist theater alongside Eugène Jonesco, Alfred Jarry and Samuel Beckett. The arrangement of three arias for coloratura soprano and ensemble was written by Elgar Howard, who was the study director of the premiere of the opera at Stockholm in 1978. The German composer Manfred Stahnke, who studied with Ligeti in Hamburg and now teaches composition there himself, wrote his work “Lumpengalerie” in 1999, based on a recorded improvisation that was reworked into a sextet. The South Korean composer Unsuk Chin wrote the ensemble piece “Gougalon” in 2009 after a visit to the suburbs of Seoul in memory of the old, impoverished neighborhood of the 1960s where she spent her childhood. She describes the work as “imagined folk music”.


Program

Manfred Stahnke (*1951) “Lumpengalerie” for six instruments (1999) – 14’ György Ligeti (1923–2006) “Mysteries of the Macabre” for coloratura soprano and ensemble (1974–1977, arr. Elgar Howarth 1992) – 9’ Unsuk Chin (*1961) “Gougalon – Scenes from a Street Theater” for big ensemble (2009/11) – 24’
Svea Schildknecht
coloratura soprano
Jürg Henneberger
conductor
Christoph Bösch
flute
Antje Thierbach
oboe
Toshiko Sakakibara
clarinet
Edurne Santos Arrastua
bassoon
Aurélien Tschopp
horn
Nenad Marković
trumpet
Antonio Jiménez Marín
trombone
Denise Wambsganß
mandoline
Daniel Stalder
percussion
João Pacheco
percussion
Kirill Zvegintsov
piano
piano
Friedemann Treiber
violin
Daniel Hauptmann
violin
Petra Ackermann
viola
Martin Jaggi
cello
Stéphanie Meyer
cello
Aleksander Gabryś
double bass