Visiting Ensemble

Ensemble Modern / Beat Furrer

Pierre Boulez & E.E. Cummings

Past Dates

A drama in four stages. Hark, it approaches. Perspectives expand. The evening is inaugurated by a single instrument. Muted, it broadcasts an obituary. It is answered by a voice, one surrounded by two ensembles, also with an obituary. It is a here question of a poet, and of the old Venetian composers of San Marco, who converted spaces into settings for listening, into places of the imagination. The music affects a transubstantiation. Entering now are large ensemble, singers, instruments. From within, they awaken a work of language-art, which resounds variously and grandly. Cummings’s text is a “poem image” (Theo Hirsbrunner) composed of just a few words, sentence fragments, and parentheses. Boulez turns it into a sound-space-play of suggestive visual power. Whoever hears, sees more.

In the second part, a large ensemble. Imaginary theater. The hero of “desire” is Orpheus, the figure of musical necrologies, summoner of spirits from the realm of the dead. Or almost. Beat Furrer’s composition traces the antique myth through history, through the manifold figures and forms of reflection it has been given by the poets. Orpheus, who played a key role at the birth of opera, now becomes our contemporary.

Concert Programme

Igor Stravinsky [1882–1971]
for viola solo [1944]

Igor Stravinsky
In memoriam Dylan Thomas
Dirge-canons and song on a threnodie by Dylan Thomas
for tenor, string quartet and four trombones [1954]

Pierre Boulez [born 1925]
Cummings is the poet
for 16 solo voices and orchestra based on a poem by Edward Estlin Cummings [1970/86

Beat Furrer [born 1954]
Music theatre based on texts by Cesare Pavese, Günter Eich, Ovid and Vergil
for soprano, spealer, mixed choir and orchestra [2001]
in concerto form