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Boulez celebrated at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater

Kammermusiksaal der HMT
10/12/2005 -  11/12/2005

Boulez, Haubensak, Korte, Kampe, Petersen,Wolf, Tenhaef and Lang. Hui Ping Lan and Volker Ahmels, piano. Maria Schlestein, soprano. Bodil Mohlund, clarinet. Louise von Schweinitz and Anton Leutz, violoncello. Edith Salmen, conductor.

Situated in the new Bundesland of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the city of Rostock was part – until the reunification of 1990 – of the former German Democratic Republic. Partly destroyed in 1942 by air raids, its architectural frame is still made of a combination of old traditional Hanseatic Baltic buildings and of bombastic edifices in the former ‘Communist style’. It is the case of the Lange Stasse, a scaled-down copy of Berlin’s Karl Marx Allee, visited in 1972 by … Fidel Castro. Established on the site of a medieval convent, the very dynamic High School for Music and Theatre is today one of the highly-regarded pedagogical structures in Germany. Headed by Prof. Christfried Göckeritz, the Hochschule attracts 500 students of 36 nationalities. Since the summer of 2005, Daniel Barenboim is the chairman of its board of direction.

While Sir Simon Rattle and members of the Berlin Philharmonic celebrated the 80th anniversary of Pierre Boulez – born on 26th March 2005 – with an impressive performance of Répons, the musical elite in Rostock made good use of the second week end of December for fêting the world famous french composer of Le marteau sans maître. The event was organized, among other clever purposes, to try to help the natives to change their mind about new music. Thanks to an exciting musicological conference and concerts devoted, notably, to Dérive or to Improvisation I sur Mallarmé, as to the opus one of Boulez : the virtuoso Notations for piano written in … 1945 (!), played twice with a rich and brilliant sound, excellently explained and commented by Volker Ahmels.

According to the fact that the founding father of the Ensemble Intercontemporain was always been of concern to the music’s future, the Hochschule’s resources had the shrewd idea to combine his own works with compositions of other composers. The clarinet part of Tones by Edu Haubensak, played under the direction of Edith Salmen at the evening of 10th December, did offer an interesting display of non-conventional use of this instrument, illustrated by thought-provoking sounds, used in an aesthetic aim. During the following concert, a matinee dedicated to violoncello solo, to piano solo and to the combination of both of them, several of the twenty-four Pomeranian composers, belonging to the Deutscher Komponistenverband, were performed. Called Op nieman lepte mer denn ich, the recital for violoncello, Aeolian harp and speaker of Peter Tenhaef (1953) combines verses of the medieval poet Konrad von Würzburg (around 1225-1287), said by Anton Leutz, enriched with his own instrument and wind sounds of the closed Baltic Sea, recorded on tape. The inventive … anytime … suite for piano of Birger Petersen (1972) shows a funny additional use of other ‘instruments’ like a whistle and an electronic metronome, paired with elegant monodic paraphrases of Debussy’s Clair de lune and of one highly popular piece by Satie. Gordon Kampe (1976) uses the piano of 10vorne as an instrument à percussion in the way of Stravinsky. With Benjamin Lang (1976), ABDucensparese for piano parodies Fascist open air music in countries like Salazar’s Portugal or Pinochet’s Chile. The gifted interpreter of this score, Hui-Ping Lan, has to play moreover small percussions as to mark martial rhythms with her own foots.

It seems that the common denominator of these programs was the research of new acoustic possibilities to be added to the so called traditional resources of instruments. It was too clear with the subtle nordwest for violoncello solo by Oliver Korte (1969), performed at the beginning and at the end of the concert by the distinguished Luise von Schweinitz, as with two works of Peter Manfred Wolf (1958). The first was End-grenzt … Spiel for violoncello, a very colourful and tense piece which finely uses the polyphonic possibilities of this instrument. Anton Leutz performed one section of End-grenzt … Spiel with two bows. Like in Mother Tongue of the Australian composer Liza Lim, premièred in Paris on 30th November 2005 by Ensemble intercontemporain. The second piece by Peter Manfred Wolf was Veräussert for piano, written in 1991. The left hand plays percussions; the right hand plays on the keyboard. Outcome ? An high emotional and internal tension, a new laurel wreath in the frame of the 2005 Boulez festivities.

Hochschule für Musik und Theater Rostock

Philippe Olivier



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