Concert

Christian Dierstein & Dirk Rothbrust

Music for Percussion by Rebecca Saunders

In many years of joint sound research with the two exceptional percussionists Christian Dierstein and Dirk Rothbrust, the composer Rebecca Saunders has developed a special vocabulary of sounds for percussion. In the second concert of the Rebecca Saunders portrait, the works “void” and “dust” – dedicated to the two performing percussionists – are presented in a new expansive version.

Percussion set up for Rebecca Saunders’ “dust”

Percussion set up for Rebecca Saunders’ “dust”

Photo: Zubin Kanga 2018 (detail)

Past Dates

Musikfest Berlin digital – Concert Recordings online
Live stream of the concert in the Digital Concert Hall,
available 7 September, 20:00
Recording of the concert at Musikfest Berlin on Demand,
available 8 September, 16:00 – 11 September 15:59

Music in Conversation – Artist Talks online
Talks with Dirk Rothbrust, Christian Dierstein and Rebecca Saunders
available from 19 August

Composers of the 20th and 21st centuries have not only questioned the percussion in a particularly thorough but also particularly radical way. This includes not only to the expansion of the pool of instruments, but also the most diverse ways of making the instruments sound and of entering into a creative exchange with them. The percussionists themselves are increasingly involved in this special metabolism and in the invention of new sounds. These innovations apply in a special way to the works “dust” and “void”, which Rebecca Saunders created for them. In many years of joint sound research with the two exceptional percussionists Christian Dierstein and Dirk Rothbrust, she has developed a unique vocabulary of sounds for this instrument – from familiar percussions to the expansion of the instrumental apparatus with a multitude of new and never-heard sounds such as those of massive car bumpers or singing aluminium strips or crystal bowls and many more.

The arrangement of the instruments is thought out in detail by the composer. The performers do not simply play according to the score but translate the information from the score into a space-sound choreography. The arrangement of the instruments and objects on stage creates a musical-dramatic situation, and the audience can experience how, through the movement, power and virtuosity of the percussionists, the sounds emerge from the silence, take on form, weight and texture and spread out into space in an object-like manner.

“dust” and “void” – both works dedicated to the two percussionists performing – are presented in a new version in this concert.

Concert Programme

Rebecca Saunders (*1967)

Void II (2015 – 2020)
for percussion duo
New version for two musicians
World premiere of the new version

Dust II (2017 – 2020)
for percussion duo
New version for two musicians
World premiere of the new version

Cast

Christian Dierstein percussion
Dirk Rothbrust percussion

Programme and cast are subject to change

The concerts dedicated to Rebecca Saunders on 4, 7 and 9 September 2020 are funded by means of the Capital City Cultural Fund and the Aventis Foundation.


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A Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin event.