Work of the week - Jörg Widamnn: Trauermarsch
The 18 December marks the premiere of Jörg Widmann’s new piano concerto Trauermarsch, commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony. It wiill be performed by the Berlin Philharmonic and pianist Yefim Bronfman under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle at Berlin’s Philharmonie.
Despite having written concerti for violin, oboe, clarinet (Elegie) and trumpet (ad absurdum), Widmann hesitated at composing a piano concerto, conscious of its legacy within in the German canon. When he came to write a piano concerto, he had originally intended to use a funeral march as an introduction to a multi-movement work. However, Widmann later decided to extend the march and instead compose a one-movement piano concerto called Trauermarsch (Funeral March). The march is interspersed with percussive and repetitive bursts; the piano part is dense, almost Brahmsian, as Widmann explores the technical possibilities and colours of the instrument:
What puzzled me was the attack of the piano tone and its quick decay. It meant that I needed an abundance of pulse sequences to establish the piano sound in respect of the orchestra. It was euphoric, like nothing I had planned: Every gesture of the piano evoked a comment in the orchestra. – Jörg Widmann
Trauermarsch will also be performed on 19 and 20 December, and will receive its American Premiere in 2016 in San Francisco.
On 12 December, the Dutch premiere of Henri Dutilleux’s Le temps l’horloge will take place in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw with English soprano Sally Mathews, the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest and David Robertson conducting. ...