Visiting Ensembles / In honour of Louis Andriessen II
Brad Lubman, conductor
Visiting: Frankfurt am Main
“De materia” (On music and matter) could be the motto of this programme by Ensemble Modern. Through the physicality of music and the expansion of the musical space, the compositions of Neuwirth, Varèse and Andriessen have opened up new dimensions for music.
The musical contribution to the Bauhaus-year. Louis Andriessen dedicated the third part of his full-length work of musical theatre “De Materie” to the artists’ movement “De Stijl”, which was in close connection to the Bauhaus and its ideas; Piet Mondrian remained their best-known representative. The musical freestyler Andriessen, whose orchestration includes instruments played in rock music, not only incorporates statements about Mondrian and “Plastic Mathematics” as lyrics, but also organises the piece’s dramaturgy and time sequences according to the principles of Mondrian’s geometry – an exciting experiment on freedom and adventure. Andriessen is interested in the “clear line” – and in the music’s physicality. This was, claimed Dieter Schnebel, the “disturbing and fascinating” characteristic of Varèse’s music, regardless of whether he mobilised a huge apparatus, one instrument, or an ensemble with or without electronics. “In Varése’s music, we can physically experience what sound it, as it were; we not only hear the vibrations, we feel them.” The physique of the instrumental sound becomes the centre of Olga Neuwirth’s concept of a modern piano concerto. “The colours of the soloist are complemented by a ‘double’ from the sampler keyboard, which adds microtones to the tonal space of the piano; the ensemble explores an expanded musical space. The material is in a state of flow.” “De materia”, on music and matter, could be the title of Ensemble Modern’s programme.
Edgard Varèse (1883 – 1965)
for 15 instrumentalists, 5 percussionists and tape (1949 – 1954)
Olga Neuwirth (*1968)
for piano and ensemble
In honour of Louis Andriessen II
Louis Andriessen (*1939)
for 4 women’s voices, female speaker and large ensemble
from the music theatre De Materie part III (1985)