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Opening concert of the Darmstadt Summer Course: Ensemble Modern and conductor Enno Poppe with works by Malin Bång, Brigitta Muntendorf, Olga Neuwirth and Alvin Singleton

Sat 31 July 2021, 19.30
Lichtenbergschule (Große Sporthalle)

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Program Dossier

Malin Bång: blooming brume (2020, Live-Premiere) – 18′

Alvin Singleton: Again (1979) – 12′

Brigitta Muntendorf: songs two_love
I. Another Lovesorry (New Version, 2021 / from: Ballett für Eleven, 2018) – 7′
II. Daisy, Daisy (from: MELENCOLIA, 2021 / World Premiere 2022) – 3’30

Olga Neuwirth: locus…doublure…solus (2001) – 25′


Hermann Kretzschmar (Piano)
Ensemble Modern
Enno Poppe (Musical Direction)

When Alvin Singleton presented his work Again in Brian Ferneyhough’s composition studio at the Darmstadt Summer Course in 1980, he was asked whether the title had a particular significance. “Titles are like names”, he replied. “They identify people, but don’t say anything about the person.” It was his hope however that according to the title, musicians would perform the piece again and again. The Ensemble Modern has done just that: Again was part of a recent program developed together with composer George Lewis featuring music from the African diaspora which has already been performed at several locations. The re-encounter with Singleton at Darmstadt is the starting point for a look into the archive: the Brooklyn born composer was a Summer Course participant in the years 1972, 1974 and 1980. In 1974, he received the Kranichstein Music Prize for his work Be Natural. Again, which premiered in 1979 in Graz, has never been performed live in Darmstadt.

The title Again is also a symbol of new beginnings at the Darmstadt Summer Course, despite the festival still being affected by the pandemic to a certain extent. In the opening concert of its 50th edition the Ensemble Modern will also be performing music by Olga Neuwirth, Brigitta Muntendorf und Malin Bång. The Swedish composer Bång’s music is very much inspired by everyday sounds. While composing blooming brume, she recalled the soundscape of her childhood in a suburb of Göteburg dominated by industry and traffic. Like Malin Bång, Brigitta Muntendorf from Cologne is a first-time composition tutor in Darmstadt. She has extracted two concert miniatures for the Ensemble Modern from her primarily multi – media works. Pierre Boulez considered Olga Neuwirth’s locus…doublure…solus as one of the most significant additions to the piano repertoire. “It consists of a seven-movement compendium of diverse stylistic aspects of piano-playing.” Neuwirth extends the tonal space with microtones by using a sampler as piano ‘double’ and lets the ensemble explore an extended musical space, too. “Her material exists in a state of flux, meaning that listeners are drawn into an experience which is fascinatingly insecure.” (Boulez)

Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the Jubilee Foundation of Darmstadt Sparkasse and the Merck’sche Gesellschaft für Kunst und Wissenschaft

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© ️Vincent Stefan