Christoph Eschenbach, conductor
Christoph Eschenbach and the Konzerthausorchester Berlin devote this vivid portrait to Aribert Reimann, the grand master of contemporary music. With “Spiralot Halom” (Dream Spirals), the programme contains an orchestral work that Reimann composed only months before the Third Gulf War. Ten years previously he had set Paul Celan’s cycle of poems “Benighted”, songs of lament and accusation that are complemented by his clarinet concerto “Cantus”.
Aribert Reimann has repeatedly found individual forms for contemporary music. After all, “independent thinking and a personal language” are the key principles of the composer born in Berlin in 1936, who has never belonged to any national school or sympathized with serialist or electronic music. Reimann, to whom Christoph Eschenbach and the Konzerthausorchester Berlin devote this portrait, wrote his harrowing orchestral work “Spiralot Halom” (Dream Spirals) around one year before the Third Gulf War – after a dream of burning oil wells: the people standing in clouds of smoke began to sing a “song in unison” (Reimann), which – broken by glittering string sounds – also found its way into the piece. A dark, requiem-like tension also pervades Reimann’s Clarinet Concerto “Cantus”, in which bass and double bass clarinets function as “shadows” of the solo clarinet, which, in the words of the composer, climb up out of a grave or a past life. This interior monologue fading away to deep black is dedicated to the clarinettist and soloist for this concert Jörg Widmann, whom Reimann praised for his “song-like” phrasing and “infinite” breadth of variations of tone. The programme is rounded off with the Paul Celan cycle “Eingedunkelt” (Benighted) with the alto Ursula Hesse von den Steinen: unsettling, fear-filled songs of lament and accusation.
Aribert Reimann (*1936)
Spiralot Halom (Traumspiralen)
for large orchestra (2002)
for clarinet and orchestra (2005)
Nine poems based on Paul Celan for alto solo (1992)
for orchestra (1993)