Visiting Ensemble

musikFabrik / Peter Eötvös

Folk Songs IV: Le Cru et le Cuit

Past Dates

This programme has a godfather. To be sure, not a single sonority directly recalls him. Still, he was the one who formulated this mode of musical thought. It was Gustav Mahler who imported the tone of folk music into great music, charging his work with cryptic meanings, citing established turns of phrase, building enciphered dedications into his textures, and driving onward toward the large form. In Berio’s Naturale, the folk style comes into play transformed: from the Sicilian marketplace via audiotape and into the concert hall. In N’Shima, Xenakis has recourse to the rough song style one finds articulated throughout the vocal culture of the Mediterranean. The text fragments he uses were drawn from a story by Rabbi Nachman.

Kol od are the first syllables of the Israeli national anthem, whose melody has many relatives in the songs of eastern and northern Europe. Using both citations and original material, Henri Pousseur erects a fitting monument to Jean Philippe Rameau, founder of the (traditional) theory of harmony, in the process journeying through the history of Europe’s sound consciousness. The title of Peter Eötvös’s Steine (Stones) contains a multidimensional allusion: in addition to their own instruments, all of the performers play pebbles as well. The work is dedicated to Pierre Boulez; like the name “Peter,” “Pierre” comes from the Greek “petros,” meaning stone. At the start, we hear the opening chord of Pli selon Pli. Rumbling through the substratum is the charged relationship between composing and conducting.


Luciano Berio [1925–2003]
Naturale (su melodie siciliane)
for viola, percussion and »voce registrata« [1985]
Singing of the Sicilian folk singer/cuntista Peppino Guiseppe Celano

Iannis Xenakis [1922–2001]
for two mezzo sopranos, two horns two tenor trombones and violoncello on phonemes and Hebrew words [1975]

Peter Eötvös [geb. 1944]
for ensemble [1985–90]

Henri Pousseur [1929–2009]
La Seconde Apothéose de Rameau
for 21 instruments [1981]

Luciano Berio
Kol od – Chemin VI
for solo trumpet and chamber orchestra [1996]


Olivia Vermeulen mezzo soprano
Vanessa Barkowski mezzo soprano
Axel Porath viola
Dirk Rothbrust percussion
Marco Blaauw trumpet

Peter Eötvös conductor