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The Munich Philharmonic premieres its new commission from Manfred Trojahn on 14 June. Achéron, scored for four percussionists and orchestra, is inspired by Greek mythology while also paying tribute to the orchestra’s timpanist of many years, Peter Sadlo, who died in 2016.

On 14 June, the Munich Philharmonic under Omer Meir Wellber premieres Manfred Trojahn's latest orchestral work, Achéron, at the Isarphilharmonie. The concert is repeated on 15 June and recorded for broadcast by BR Klassik on 21 June. The 20-minute new score delves into dark mythological worlds of thought and Trojahn joins the orchestra in paying homage to a much-loved and admired percussionist.

Peter Sadlo (1962 - 2016) was the principal timpanist of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra for many years and had a formative influence on modern percussion composition and interpretation as a soloist and university teacher. Trojahn’s commissioned work is scored for orchestra with concerto-grosso-like percussion performed by four players: Jörg Hannabach, Michael Leopold, Sebastian Förschl and Mathias Lachenmayr. The title Achéron refers to the river in Greek mythology that the souls of the dead have to cross on their way to the afterlife. The composer explains about the new work:

"It is a dark, always pulsating music, also with distinctively garish, violent moments. A motto by René Char stands above the piece: 'Lune après jour ... nous attendons' (Moon after the day ... we wait). The harmony of major and minor seconds as a stable harmonic element runs through the entire composition, whose rhythm reflects the odd number five. Four percussionists, treated as a group throughout, point to the memory of Peter Sadlo."

> www.mphil.de

Deutsche Oper am Rhein has just announced the world premiere of Manfred Trojahn's new opera for its 23/24 season: the curtain goes up for Septembersonate on 3 December 2023 at the Düsseldorf Opera House, in a production by Johannes Erath under the musical direction of Vitali Alekseenok. The opera is based on a story by Henry James, whose protagonist finds himself haunted by a ghost - a personification of the man he could have become if he had led a different life.

In February this year Trojahn’s recent opera Eurydice – Die Liebenden, blind was awarded Best World Premiere at the German Oper!Awards 2023. The opera was first staged last year at Dutch National Opera during the Opera Forward Festival.

>  Further information on Work: Achéron

Photo: Manfred Trojahn (© Dietlind Konold)

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