Time stands still

Ensemble Unidas

Ensemble Unidas

© Promo

Past Dates

What happens when time stands still? Or, posed differently: imagine all the things that could be dreamed up when time no longer plays a role? That is a naïve question, of course, but it’s a very tempting one for just a moment. A piece with such a wonderful timbre as “Time stands still” could then eternally sway to and fro, there would be no yesterday, today or tomorrow, we wouldn’t need to worry about leaps in time between the Renaissance and the present time or between the Baroque and the Romantic periods, the melancholic music of a John Dowland (1563-1626) would stand directly next to Bernhard Ganders (*1969) „Darkness awaits us“, Thomas Campian (1567-1622) next to Burkhard Stangl’s (*1960) lucid Dowland adaptations, Franceco Filidei’s (*1973)gestural music next to “A Fancy by Mr. Dowland”.

Taken from another perspective, the following image emerges: music needs some time, music itself has its own time, and finally, music is indeed an expression of its time. Music passes by, time elapses, time is distorted or “postponed” – virtually brought to a standstill.

Or time is historically perforated, like in Burkhard Stangl’s comments on Dowland’s music. But what happens in the gaps? Is music really only here, or in other words with us listeners, when the first note sounds? The problem of a music history archive that stacks up higher by the minute could be described as a fundamental dilemma that every composer has to grapple with today. Not always does this problem come to the surface in a constructive way. Yet when this does happen, we can sense how “history” can settle quite “naturally” into contemporary music through a contact emerging between the gaps of history, in which it is no longer clear in the end at all – and ultimately does not matter – whether Peter Jakober adapts John Dowland or John Dowland takes inspiration from Peter Jakober for a new work. This though must, of course, contain the prerequisite: “time stands still”.

John Dowland (1563-1626)
Mourne, Day is with Darkness fled
What if A Day

Arthur Lavandier
My Naked Lady framed (2013)

Tobias Hume (ca. 1569-1645)
What geater Grief
Loves Farewell

Wolfgang Mitterer
Mourn, Mourn (2013)

John Dowland
A Coy Joy

Bernhard Gander
Darkness awaits us (2013)

Thomas Campian (1567-1620)
All lookes be pale

Francesco Filidei
… And here they do not (2014)

John Dowland
Time stands still

Stephen Goodall (approx. 1650)

Burkhard Stangl
Nights (2009)

John Dowland
Me, me, and none but me
Lady Clifton’s Spirit

Peter Jakober
Stehende Zeit (2014)

Burkhard Stangl
With you (2009)

Ensemble Unidas
Theresa Dlouhy, soprano
Eva Reiter, viola da gamba
Christopher Dickie, lute