Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart
Saturday September 25 at 6:00 p.m.
Teatro Piccolo Arsenale
Sylvano Bussotti (1931) 1. Ancora odono i colli from Cinque frammenti all’Italia for six singers (1967-68, 10’)
François Paris (1961) Drei Handspiele for six singers (2003, 20’) Italian premiere
Andreas Dohmen (1962) infra for five singers (2008, 12’) Italian premiere
Gyorgy Ligeti (1923-2006) Aventures for three singers and seven instruments (1962, 11’)
Of all the ensembles performing at the 54th Festival, the Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, founded in 1984, has a vocation for the contemporary music of the origins. In Venice, the soloists of this vocal group will appear in two important events: in addition to the chamber opera Freizeitspektakel, they will be performing in a concert that features the music of two great authors such as Sylvano Bussotti and György Ligeti, as well as German composer Andreas Dohmen and French composer François Paris, in two Italian premieres. An evening dedicated to the vocal “instrument”, to its evolution and its development.
Recently returned from the month-long celebrations that his native city dedicated to him for his eightieth birthday, Sylvano Bussotti, who as an all-around performing artist (he is also a painter, writer, director and set designer), brings the power of theatre and “carnality” to his music, returns to the Biennale with Ancora odono I colli, from Cinque frammenti all’Italia, originally conceived as a vast project that was never finished. Like a “modern Mannerist”, as he has often been defined, Bussotti strings together an anthology of poetic quotations borrowed from Rilke, Leonardo da Vinci, Campana, Tasso, Proust and many other poets of every period, “reviving a sort of modern ‘amorous madrigal’ sustained by cultural sophistication, dominated by a meticulous calligraphy, striving towards sound as an internal vibration, sensuous and fibrillating” (A. Gentilucci).
From the musical production of György Ligeti, with his incomparable illusionistic artifices, the Neue Vocalsolisten have chosen to present a rare example of dramatic-musical action, Aventures (conducted by Friedrich Cerha for its debut in Hamburg), in which the author relies on the expressivity of the voice and on the emotions it can elicit to give meaning to what are no more than linguistic phonemes. Seven soloists, conducted by Filippo Perocco, will perform: Francesca Cescon, flute, Michele Morao, horn, Alessio Rossato, percussion, Felix Marangoni, harpsichord, Roberto Durante, piano/celesta, Massimo Raccanelli, cello, and Daniele Carnio, double bass.
Also featured is the recent Drei Handspiele by François Paris, in which the composer chooses three subjects – the popular song What a wonderful world by Louis Armstrong, which conveys the optimism of the time, a lullaby that can put a child to sleep, and a hand game such as rock-paper-scissors that is pure fun – as a vehicle for his considerations on these initial intentions. And he wonders: “How can we interpret enchantment, the wonder of the world, today, without perceiving a form of manipulation? … Does not the comfort of a lullaby come from the sweetness of the song, made to forget the present with no hope for the future? … Every game, naïve or not, will always have a symbolic and poetic meaning: if I say that, according to the rules of the game, the paper wraps the rock and the scissors cut the paper before falling into the well, have I not already begun to enact a form of drama?”
The title of the piece by German composer Andreas Dohmen, infra, indicates “music that always moves through border areas” (A.Dohmen), in mezzo a, fra. The point of departure is Petrarca’s sonnet number 8, Passa la nave mia colma d’oblio, filtered through the translation of Romanian-German poet Oskar Pastior, with a point of view that is necessarily “extraneous” to a language of which he knew only the rudiments. “Sections of phrases, often even individual words develop very slowly most of the time (but this often happens very quickly), ‘wanted’, ‘inspected’, shaped during the research process. The second, shorter part follows – like a single spiral movement built around two intervals – with libretto by Oskar Pastior. But this, when both texts offer possible phonetic correlations between the German and Italian languages, is synchronized with reminiscences, like echoes from the original by Petrarca” (A. Dohmen).
François Paris (Valenciennes – France, 1961) – He studied music at the National Conservatory of the Versailles Region, where he won a gold medal in analysis, and then at the Conservatory in Paris, where he won the first prize in composition; his teachers include Ivo Malec, Betsy Jolas (for analysis) and Gérard Grisey ( for composition and conducting). He also studied conducting, directing his first pieces for Radio France and Darmstadt. He won a prize at the International Composition Competition of Besançon, and was invited as resident-composer to the Academy of France in Rome (Villa Medici 1993-1995). Winner of the AFAA program of “Villa Medici e oltre”, he also won the Claude Arrieu SACEM award in 2001. He has received many commissions for ensemble and orchestra, including one from IRCAM, Itinéraire, Radio France, Nuova Arca. Paris is currently director of the CIRM, the National Center for Musical Creation in Nice, and of the Festival Manca held annually in that city. His works include Les Confessions silencieuses for soprano, baritone, vocal quartet, harp, two keyboards and live electronics (1995), Murs for vocal quartet and chamber orchestra (1993), L'Empreinte du cygne concerto for cello, piano and orchestra (1997). Most of his work is published by Ricordi.
Andreas Dohmen (Viersen – Germany, 1962) – He studied composition with Dieter Torkewitz and double bass at the Folkwang-Hochschule für Musik, theatre and dance at Essen with Rolf Heister. From 1987 to 1990 he participated in a composition master class by Franco Donatoni at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena. From 1988 to 1990, he attended the Deutschen Akademischen Austauschdienst (DAAD) on scholarship, and studied composition with Franco Donatoni in Milan and Biella. After teaching at the Musikhochschule in Essen, Duisburg and Dortmund, since 2002 he has lectured on the Analysis of New Music and Orchestration at the Hochschüle fur Künste in Bremen. He has won several awards: first prize at the international composition competition of the WDR of the Cologne Forum Junger Komponisten, the prize from the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, first prize at the international composition competition of the city of Rome, Premio Valentino Bucchi, first prize at the composition competition of the Landeshauptstadt of Stuttgart. He has received commissions from: Donaueschinger Musiktage (SWR), Wittener Tage für Neue Kammermusik (WDR), Festival ECLAT Stuttgart (SWR), Festival Musik im 20.Jahrhundert (SR), Musica Viva München (BR), SWR-Symphonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, WDR-Symphonieorchester Köln, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks München, Ensemble Modern Frankfurt, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, Schlagquartett Köln. His most recent works include: Lautung for large orchestra with 5 solo voices (2003/2004), adest for percussion quartet with obligato timpani(2004/2005); infra for 5 voices (2007/2008); Latah for 6 instruments (2008-2009).