Gruber's Busking to be premiered by Hardenberger(March 2008)
Gruber's Busking to be premiered by Hardenberger
HK Gruber’s new concerto for solo trumpet, banjo, accordion and strings, Busking, is premiered on 17 May in Amsterdam by Håkan Hardenberger. The soloist has worked closely with Gruber, giving over 40 performances of Aerial over the past decade and recording the work for Deutsche Grammophon and Exposed Throat for BIS.
Busking is a co-commission by the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Essen Philharmonie, Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and during his exclusivity period Hardenberger has performances already planned in the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Austria and the USA.
In Busking Gruber explores the trumpet’s association with street music enjoyed by the ‘proletariat’, such as in New Orleans jazz. In parallel with Picasso’s painting Three Musicians (1921) the solo instrument in the concerto is partnered by banjo and accordion which act as popular music equivalents of harpsichord and organ, and bristle against any possible halo effect from the string orchestra.
Hardenberger was particularly attracted to the lively Bear Dance which ends Act I of Gruber’s opera Der Herr Nordwind, and this reappears to provide the folkloristic flavour in the first of Busking’s three linked movements. The Eb trumpet is employed here and makes way for the flugelhorn in the slow second movement, with the soloist playing and singing sustained notes simultaneously to create a three-part choral effect. The fast third movement introduces the C trumpet against furious strings, building through a cadenza with bucket mute, to a final section full of polytonal and polymetric games.
> Further information on Work: Busking
Photo: Sisi Burn
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