Work of the Week - Heinz Holliger: Scardanelli-Zyklus

On 30 August 2014, the Lucerne Festival presents a unique work by Heinz Holliger: Scardanelli-Zyklus, a 150-minute cycle for mixed forces in three parts. The Lucerne Festival Academy Ensemble, along with the Latvian Radio Choir and flautist Felix Renggli will be conducted by the composer himself.

Written between 1975-1991, Scardanelli-Zyklus comprises three large sections which can be performed together or separately: Die Jahreszeiten for a cappella choir, Übungen zu Scardanelli for solo flute, tape, small orchestra and 4 – 5 female voices, and t(air)e, a solo for flute. The original version received its world première at the Donaueschinger Musiktage in 1985. In 1991, Holliger added Ostinato funebre,a new eerie, unpitched section. 

The cold, indifferent sound of Holliger's cycle makes reference to the life of poet Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843), who wrote the poems on which Scardanelli-Zyklus is based. Hölderlin is now widely believed to have been schizophrenic, but was discharged from a psychiatric ward for being mentally ill beyond recovery. During his last 36 years he lived in a tower room in Tübingen where he attracted attention creating cheerful poems for passers by, dating them between the years 1648 - 1940 and signing different pseudonyms, including “Scardanelli”. In writing his Scardanelli-Zyklus Holliger conducted extensive research on Friedrich Hölderlin, retaining the belief that he did not suffer from mental illness, but rather deliberate isolation from public life. 

The Scardanelli music is predominantly one in which gesture is absent, in which there is a rigidity, almost a paralysis. (…) Previously my music was direct expression. Now everything is so withdrawn, even the subject steps back, just as Hölderlin stepped back out of his poems. – Heinz Holliger

Scardanelli-Zyklus is characterised by stylistic juxtaposition and the absence of any overriding musical form. Using strict contrapuntal composition and various canonical techniques, Holliger constructs a distance between the music and the audience. This is especially true in the infrequent sections with text, which appear only in the work's first section Die Jahreszeiten and which are alienated beyond comprehension. 

As part of the Lucerne Festival Holliger will also conduct Bernd Alois Zimmermann's Sinfonie in einem Satz  in performances from 26 – 29 August. Works by Paul Hindemith, György Ligeti, Krzysztof Penderecki, Aribert Reimann, Huw Watkins, and Jörg Widmann can be heard at this year's festival.

(08/25/2014)

 

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08/25/2014

Work of the Week - Heinz Holliger: Scardanelli-Zyklus

On 30 August 2014, the Lucerne Festival presents a unique work by Heinz Holliger: Scardanelli-Zyklus , a 150-minute cycle for mixed forces in three parts. The Lucerne Festival Academy Ensemble, along with the Latvian ...

more

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