Phœnix

Protest Music?

In September 1971, prisoners at Attica Prison in upstate New York revolted against prison conditions and took several prison guards hostage. On the governor’s orders, the National Guard subsequently stormed the prison, killing 32 people. Among them was Sam Melville, a bomber who had written a letter to his brother in spring 1971 that was published in a magazine. Back after a long trip to Italy, the American composer and pianist Frederik Rzewski read the letter in the magazine and was moved by the poetic quality and the description of time experience. This was the cause for him to write  “Coming Together,” a piece for variable ensemble and speaker; a composition that has become a prime example of music as resistance; consistently constructed and with a precisely calculated final climax.

The Palestinian composer Samir Odeh-Tamimi has developed his own musical language. Drawn from Western European avant-garde and Arabic musical practice, it radiates a special power. His enthusiasm for European classical music and the aesthetics of New Music led him to Germany at the age of 22. There he also found his way back to the musical culture of his country of origin. Since 2016, Samir Odeh-Tamimi has been a member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin.

Like our third guest Mathias Spahlinger, he however already since 1996. The German composer creates  works extremely consistent and uncompromising, versatile, conceptual and with great care between aesthetic autonomy and political awareness. In 2014 he was awarded the Grand Art Prize of the Academy of Arts  (Grosser Kunstpreis der Akademie der Künste), thus receiving the highest honor for his life’s work.


Program

Frederik Rzewski (1938–2021) “Coming Together” for speaker and ensemble (1971) – 20’ Samir Odeh-Tamimi (*1970) “Alif” for Alto and ensemble (2014) – 16’ Mathias Spahlinger (*1944) “Verlorener Weg I & II” for ensemble (1999/2000) – 36’
Sylvia Nopper
alto
Lucas Rößner
speaker
Jürg Henneberger
conductor
Christoph Bösch
flute, piccolo
Antje Thierbach
oboe
Toshiko Sakakibara
clarinet, bass clarinet
Raphael Camenisch
alto saxophone, baritone saxophone
Nenad Marković
trumpet
Michael Büttler
trombone
Maurizio Grandinetti
electric guitar
Consuelo Giulianelli
harp
João Pacheco
percussion
Ludovic Van Hellemont
piano
Friedemann Treiber
violin
Daniel Hauptmann
violin
Alessandro D’Amico
viola
Martin Jaggi
cello
Aleksander Gabryś
double bass