Date / Place I

20 February 2020 Gare du Nord, Basel

Date / Place II

21 February 2020 Gare du Nord, Basel




Xenakis plus


Iannis Xenakis (1922–2001) “Oophaa” for harpsichord and percussion (1989), WP of the version for two harpsichords in scordatura and percussion by Jürg Henneberger (2014) – 9’ “Plektó” for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion and piano (1993) – 12’ Hanspeter Kyburz (*1960) “Danse aveugle” for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano (1996/97/2013) – 17’ Gerald Bennett (*1942) “Sextett” forflute, clarinet, violin, cello, and pianor (1998) – 13’ Heidi Baader-Nobs (*1940) “Ballade pour ensemble” (2019, WP, commission EPhB) – 15’


Jürg Henneberger
conductor, harpsichord
Christoph Bösch
flute, piccolo, alto flute, bass flute
Antje Thierbach
oboe, English horn
Toshiko Sakakibara
clarinet, bass clarinet
João Pacheco
Ludovic Van Hellemont
Friedemann Treiber
Petra Ackermann
Martin Jaggi
Aleksander Gabryś
double bass
Christof Stürchler
sound engineer

Program description

The compositional work by Greek composer Iannis Xenakis is an important pillar for the music of the 20th/21st century and has its permanent place in our programs. The duo “Oophaa” Xenakis dedicated to harpsichordist Elisabeth Chojnacka and percussionist Sylvio Gualda, who premiered the work in 1989. Xenakis wrote a harpsichord part that is playable for two human hands only by octaving individual notes. The work receives its posthumous premiere in this concert in a version for two specially retuned harpsichords what makes the original form possible to play.

The second part of the program is dedicated to three Swiss composers who are connected to Basel in different ways. Born in Nigeria, Hanspeter Kyburz taught composition at the Hochschule Basel from 2000 to 2002 and was director of the Electronic Studio Basel. Since then he has been living and teaching in Berlin. He became known for his algorithmic composition process, which he also used in his quintet “Danse aveugle”. Xenakis’ title “Plektó” (“lichen”) could also apply to this work: a blindly tumbling dance that soars to dizzying heights until it crashes, as it were, and ends in exhaustion. The American composer Gerald Bennett, who lives in Basel, studied in Basel with Klaus Huber and taught at the Basel Music Academy from 1967-1976. His works, however, are virtually unknown in Basel. The concert closes with a world premiere by the composer Heidi Baader-Nobs, who lives in Allschwil. She was born in Delémont and studied composition in Basel with Robert Suter and Jacques Wildberger.