Claude Vivier: Hiérophanie receives belated premiere
Claude Vivier's Hiérophanie has been revived thanks to German ensemble MusikFabrik, with recent performances in Cologne, Warsaw and Amsterdam.
Claude Vivier’s unperformed early work Hiérophanie, completed in 1971, received a welcome belated world premiere thanks to the detailed preparation and presentation by MusikFabrik. The work is revealed to be a mysterious and complex assembly of multiple spatial-musical events, exploring humanity’s search for transcendency in a manner that points strongly towards Vivier’s later output. Cologne played host to the first performance in September conducted by Emilio Pomarico, followed by visits by MusikFabrik to Warsaw Autumn and the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ in Amsterdam.
"…a striking work of music theatre in a gripping performance…" Het Parool
Hiérophanie is scored for wind, brass, percussion and a female singer who provides some of the clues to the philosophical-religious questions that thread through the 40-minute work. The title relates to a 1949 treatise by Mircea Eliade which describes the appearance of the sacred within the profane and at two key points the soprano emerges to sing a Delphic hymn and the Latin Salve Regina. Surrounding this is a polyphony of events, some notated, others improvised, with the musicians taking a significant theatrical-gestural role moving about the performance space and reciting a patchwork of texts.