Philip glass Company (for string orchestra) Leonard BernsteinSerenade after Plato's Symposium (for violin solo, string orchestra, harp and percussion) Steve ReichDrumming, Part 1 (for four pairs of tuned bongo drums) John AdamsShaker Loops (version for orchestra) ConductorLawrence Renes / ViolinPatricia Kopatchinskaja
The ACHT BRÜCKEN | Musik für Köln festival, founded in 2011, is the annual successor to Cologne’s former triennial festival and focuses on contemporary music. The MCO opened the first-ever ACHT BRÜCKEN festival last year with Pierre Boulez and is delighted to be performing once again for this year’s festival, whose focus is John Cage and American music. The MCO performs works by Bernstein, Philip Glass, Steve Reich and John Adams.
The concert opens with two works with literary connections: Philip Glass’ Company for string ensemble was commissioned for the dramatisation of Samuel Beckett's prose poem in 1983. Company is a lyrical, emotional piece based on the story of a man, presumably at the end of his life, who hears a voice from his past and must come to terms with a profound solitude. In Bernstein’s elegant Serenade for solo violin, strings, harp and percussion, five movements follow the structure of Plato’s Symposium, in which some of Athens’ greatest minds gather to offer their thoughts on the true nature of love.
Alongside Glass, two other leading Minimalist figures are John Adams and Steve Reich. The first part of Reich’s four-part Drumming opens with four pairs of tuned bongo drums and is influenced by the composer´s visit of Africa in summer of 1970. John Adams´ Shaker Loops, based on the idea of oscillating patterns, comprises four dynamic, almost electrically charged movements. It is one of his most performed pieces and has been choreographed several times.
This programme marks the young Dutch conductor Lawrence Renes’ debut with the MCO. Chief Conductor and Music Director at the Royal Swedish Opera from 2012, rising star Renes has conducted many of Europe’s most prestigious orchestras including the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Soloist Patricia Kopatchinskaja appears with the MCO for the second time following her acclaimed rendition of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto under Philippe Herreweghe in 2007. Since completing her studies in violin and composition in Vienna and Berne, the Moldovan violinist has appeared with orchestras throughout Europe, made numerous award-winning recordings and won international prizes and awards for her innovative playing and fresh style. According to Kopatchinskaja, “as an interpreter I am most interested in communicating the meaning and inner workings of the music I play. Curiosity drives me to explore many different musical frontiers and I'm ready to take the risks that this process entails.”
The concert is being recorded by WDR Radio and TV. Air dates: RADIO: 3 May 2012 20:05-22:00, WDR 3 TV: 22 July 2012 10:45, WDR TV live stream on arte.tv