World Première: "Esh" by Chaya Czernowin at Cottbus
Gustav Mahler's 3rd Symphony is the final season highlight of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Cottbus (Germany). As a concert overture, the orchestra has commissioned an orchestral work by Israeli composer Chaya Czernowin. She explains her new piece, called Esh:
'Esh (the Hebrew word for "fire") is a “grand miniature”. Its duration is only 8 minutes long. But it is written for a large orchestra with some clarinets replaced by saxophones, with 4 Wagner Tubas replacing 4 horns, contra-bass tuba, organ, harmonium cembalo piano and harp, and with Kai Wessel, contra tenor, as a soloist.
It is a “grand miniature” not only because of the size and the idiosyncratic orchestral line up but also because it attempts to enact a very drawn out and monumental process of corrosion of huge natural landscapes. This is a process that in its nature would be monolithic and most of the time too slow to be perceived to the human eye/ear. But at times suddenly things happen which tip the endangered fragile balance, change the dynamic, and cause an instantaneous change. Like the hundreds of years of wind changing the rocks and sand and the sudden collapse of a mountain when a violent Storm moves one of these rocks. Esh focuses on the slow magnitude of the processes and on their sudden tipping points leading to a dramatic change.
- Chaya Czernowin
for orchestra with countertenor
• 8 June 2012 · Cottbus (D)
Kai Wessel, counter tenor
Philharmonic Orchestra Cottbus
Conductor Evan Christ