Lucerne Symphony Orchestra
Hans Christoph Begemann
Wolfang Rihm (*1952)
Symphony “Nähe fern” (world premiere of the complete version)
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15
Wolfgang Rihm has never been afraid of grappling with music historical tradition. “Nähe fern” (“Near Far”) is his new, four-part cycle of orchestral works and will be heard in this concert for the first time in its complete version as a kind of disguised symphony, thus concluding Lucerne’s Brahms/Rihm series. In this work Rihm gives an entirely personal musical response to the four symphonies of Johannes Brahms. Yet his points of reference are extremely subtle: there are no direct quotations, no all-too-obvious echoes of Brahms’s musical language, which here represents the “Near.” Rihm instead homes in on the organic way in which melody is made to flow and on the refined art of motivic development that Arnold Schoenberg so deeply admired in his essay “Brahms the Progressive.” Meanwhile, the program’s second half presents the actual music of Brahms, in the original, as French master pianist Hélène Grimaud appears at the keyboard for the dramatically compelling First Piano Concerto.
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