Friday, 22. November 2019, 8.00 pm
Introduction 6.45 pm
Más raíz, menos criatura (Entlegene Felder III) for orchestra, piano and eight singing voices (2014/15)
33 Veränderungen über 33 Veränderungen (2011)
Peter Rundel, Conductor
Markus Bellheim, Piano
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
At the musical flashpoint: distant realms and a monument
On one side is Miguel Hernández’s elegy El niño yuntero (1937), on a child who perishes at work while harnessed to a plough. Hernández, the son of a goatherd, was a leading poet of the Spanish Republic. On the other side is an enjoyable waltz of 1819 by Antonio Diabelli, together with Beethoven’s trailblazing set of piano variations on that very same waltz. These antithetical, historically remote starting points have inspired two expansive pieces of our own time, promising to make the opening concert of the new musica viva season a special experience.
Más raíz, menos criatura (“More root than human being”) is a work for orchestra, piano and eight-voice vocal ensemble by Klaus Ospald (b. Münster, 1956). It once again demonstrates his uncanny ability to create multi-layered, even symbiotic connections between literature and music, language and sound. Ospald uses Hernández’s poetry to reflect on the timeless nature of the condition humaine in music of existential force. Zender, in contrast, succeeds in grafting the sting of topical revolutionary relevance into a seminal work of Viennese classicism. In his “composed interpretation” of the Diabelli Variations, the piano is wholly subsumed in the multi-coloured sonic universe of the orchestra. More than that, Zender’s alterations to the original musical fabric, now subtle, now striking, offer refreshing new vantage points for listening to this masterpiece.
Zender’s special concern is to cultivate a lively and up-to-date musical culture, a cause he has successfully championed as a composer, conductor and writer – and as the founder of the “Happy New Ears” Prize. In 2019 Klaus Ospald, a composer who lives and teaches in Würzburg, will become the fifth person to win this prize. Zender once claimed that the “true challenge of modernism is to lend shape to plurality”. It is an idea to which the opening concert of Bavarian Radio’s music viva season does full justice.