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Glanert in Amsterdam: Caligula and Frenesia

(November 2013)

Detlev Glanert is in the spotlight in Amsterdam with a concert performance of his opera Caligula, and the premiere of his new work for the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

A distinct Amsterdam focus on the music of Detlev Glanert over the coming months begins on 14 December with the Dutch premiere of his opera Caligula, based on the powerful play by Albert Camus. The concert performance in the Zaterdag Matinee series at the Concertgebouw features the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Markus Stenz, who conducted the double premiere of the work at the Frankfurt and Cologne Operas in 2006. The South American premiere of Caligula follows on 1 April at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, in the Benedict Andrews production seen at English National Opera in 2012.

The composition of Frenesia for the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra forms part of Glanert’s house composer role with the orchestra, and the 20-minute score is unveiled at the Concertgebouw on 23 January under the baton of Xian Zhang. Further performances by co-commissioners are planned by the Gürzenich Orchestra in Cologne with Markus Stenz next June, and by the Sydney Symphony and Saint Louis Symphony Orchestras with David Robertson.

Frenesia was written to complement the RCO’s tribute to Richard Strauss in his 150th anniversary year. Glanert describes how “when you hear the start of a work like Ein Heldenleben you are struck by the strong muscular gesture and the way it energises the direction of the music. I wanted my new work to have a similar opening gesture, here wild and frenetic – hence the title Frenesia – which could act as a resource for what follows. This richness is contrasted with material which is an example of the ‘musica povera’ that I’m currently exploring, stripped bare, down to small melodic cells.

Frenesia as a whole could be considered an anti-Heldenleben, not in any critical or satirical sense, but rather because the piece is against the traditional Romantic view of grand heroism, which I think is no longer possible after historic events leading to 1945. It will hopefully demonstrate a different sort of power, as exemplified by the sound of the orchestra in the Concertgebouw, with brilliant violins, a special quality in the winds, and a sense of opening out a volume beyond the space in the hall.”

> Más información sobre la obra: Frenesia

Photo: © Iko Freese / DRAMA

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