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Welcome to the Composition:Today New Music Concert Listings.
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16 Aug

 Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 4.00pm 
Basler Madrigalisten | ensemble dialogue | Soloists & Percussionists | Raphael Immoos | Fritz Hauser | Brigitte Dubach
Lucerne Festival

ensemble dialogue | Basler Madrigalisten | Raphael Immoos conductor | Irina Ungureanu soprano | Rebecca Ockenden soprano | Barbara Schingnitz mezzo-soprano | Leslie Leon mezzo-soprano | Daniel Issa tenor | Robert Koller baritone | Jan Sauer baritone | Tiago Mota bass | Alexandre Babel percussion | Rie Watanabe percussion | Michael Weilacher percussion | Daniel Eichholz percussion | Fritz Hauser stage director | Katja Nestle costumes | Brigitte Dubach lighting

Jewish custom ascribes great significance to honoring the memory of the deceased. And so those who take part in mourning stay at home for a week of “sitting shiva,” during which period they are visited, cared for, and comforted by members of the community as they commemorate the dead. In Tante Hänsi (2006), the Swiss composer Mela Meierhans addressed herself to Christian folk rituals of mourning in her homeland and, in Rithaa (2010), to Islamic traditions. Now, in Shiva for Anne, the concluding third part of her Afterlife Trilogy, she explores Judaism – while also commemorating the British poet Anne Blonstein, who was originally to have written the libretto but who died in 2011.

Mela Meierhans : Shiva for Anne

17 Aug

 Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 6.30pm 
West-Eastern Divan Orchestra | Daniel Barenboim | Soloists
Lucerne Festival

West-Eastern Divan Orchestra | Daniel Barenboim conductor | Peter Seiffert Tristan | Waltraud Meier Isolde | Ekaterina Gubanova Brangäne | René Pape King Marke | Stephan Rügamer Melot

“O sink hernieder, Nacht der Liebe” (“Descend, o night of love”): No one has expressed emotional exuberance and feelings of boundless ecstasy more powerfully than Richard Wagner. In the second act of Tristan und Isolde he created a sound world celebrating the act of love – and was himself shocked by the powerful effect his own music had: “I fear that the opera will be banned,” wrote Wagner to his muse, Mathilde Wesendonck. “Only mediocre performances can save me! Completely good ones will drive people to insanity.” Be forewarned, then, that this concert may induce in you a state of madness! … Daniel Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is also capable of playing a tremendous diversity of music, as we will hear in the program’s first half, which features new works by the Israeli composer Ayal Adler and the Syrian composer Kareem Roustom. And it’s all in the spirit of Wagner: “Children! Make new things!”

Ayal Adler : Resonating Sounds for large orchestra
Kareem Roustom : Ramal for orchestra
Richard Wagner : Tristan und Isolde. Concert performance of Act Two

18 Aug 
19 Aug

 Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 7.30pm 
Mahler Chamber Orchestra | Daniel Harding | Stefan Dohr
Lucerne Festival

Mahler Chamber Orchestra | Daniel Harding conductor | Stefan Dohr french horn

Can music suggest hypocrisy? Antonín Dvořák's late-period tone poem The Wood Dove tests the idea. It involves a widow who makes the motions of mourning at her husband’s coffin, but her grief turns out to be a sham, for she had poisoned her spouse… Dvořák translates the inner voice of her tormented conscience into the plaintive cooing of a dove that in the end drives the murderess to suicide. Meanwhile, the putatively “American” melodies of the New World Symphony turn out, on closer inspection, to be a mirage. In fact, their syncopated rhythms and pentatonic lines could just as well be at home in the Bohemian provinces. Dvořák himself once mentioned that there was a popular pub in Prague called “Nový svet,” which means “new world.” And this interesting tidbit could perhaps give his Ninth Symphony an intriguing double meaning.

Antonin Dvorak : The Wood Dove
Wolfgang Rihm : Horn Concerto
Antonin Dvorak : Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 From the New World

20 Aug 
21 Aug 
22 Aug 
23 Aug

 Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 6.30pm 
LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY Orchestra & Chorus | Simon Rattle | Barbara Hannigan
Lucerne Festival

LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY Orchestra | LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY Chorus (James Wood chorus master) | Simon Rattle conductor | Barbara Hannigan soprano

The Academy kicks off with a triple premiere! This is the first time that Simon Rattle will have conducted the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY Orchestra, in a program that includes two works never before heard at the Festival. Le Silence des Sirènes is a brand-new score by the Korean composer Unsuk Chin that was especially written for her Lucerne retrospective as composer-in-residence. Coro, a major work by the Italian composer Luciano Berio, juxtaposes poems by Pablo Neruda with song lyrics from all around the world. It’s yet another example of Berio’s consistently non-dogmatic attitude. The vocal techniques of folk music from a widely diverse range of cultural traditions are at the center of this “anthology of different methods of setting words to music.” They are made to enter into a dialogue that erases the conventional boundaries between “serious” and “entertaining” music, between high art and folklore.

Unsuk Chin : Le Silence des Sirènes
Luciano Berio : Coro for 40 voices and orchestra

24 Aug 
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27 Aug

 Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 7.30pm 
Lucerne Symphony Orchestra | James Gaffigan | Midori
Lucerne Festival

Lucerne Symphony Orchestra | James Gaffigan conductor | Midori violin

Do composers always follow the strict rules of logic when they write their works? No, says the pianist Alfred Brendel, who compares Franz Schubert’s approach to that of a sleepwalker groping about as if in a dream. Rather than dissect his musical material, he repeats it, transforming and showing it in a new light. The psychological impression left on the listener is remarkable: “We feel as though we are not masters of the situation but its victims,” declares Brendel. James Gaffigan and the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra will demonstrate this astonishing effect when they perform the Great Symphony in C major, about whose “heavenly lengths” Robert Schumann rhapsodized. As to which path composer-in-residence Johannes Maria Staud will take, that remains to be disclosed with the world premiere of his new violin concerto, which he wrote for “artiste étoile” Midori.

Carl Maria von Weber : Overture to the Romantic opera Oberon
Johannes Maria Staud : Oskar (Towards a Brighter Hue II)
Franz Schubert : Symphony No. 8 in C major, D. 944 Great

28 Aug 
29 Aug 
30 Aug

 Saturday, August 30, 2014 at 4.00pm 
Zehetmair Quartet | Anu Komsi
Lucerne Festival

Zehetmair Quartet: Thomas Zehetmair violin | Kuba Jakowicz violin | Ruth Killius viola | Christian Elliott violoncello | Anu Komsi soprano

Heinz Holliger enjoys a close artistic friendship with Thomas Zehetmair, for whom he wrote his violin concerto titled Hommage à Louis Soutter. The composer’s Second String Quartet was likewise premiered by Zehetmair and his formidable quartet. The richly expressive sound world that Holliger has created in this work gives the players almost no time to breathe and explores the limits of this genre of “four reasonable people in conversation,” as Goethe once described the string quartet. Claude Debussy took a new look at this long-standing genre in his only string quartet, which is written not for a single, homogeneous ensemble but for four individuals and which disturbed his contemporaries with its unprecedented harmonies and shimmering timbres. We are excitedly looking forward to discovering the new paths Heinz Holliger will forge in his latest work, based on poems by Nikolaus Lenau!

Heinz Holliger : String Quartet no. 2
Claude Debussy : String Quartet in G minor
Heinz Holliger : Increschantüm. Poems by Luisa Famos (1930–1974) for soprano

31 Aug 

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