KASTELEWICZ music in progress offers the creation of introductory and program texts. In addition, the agency undertakes scientific research and conducts personal interviews with artists and composers.
For 2016, she took over the content design of the program booklets of the International Summer Academy of the Mozarteum University in Salzburg and the festival catalog Wien Modern 29 A-Z.
Every summer in July and August, the University Mozarteum Salzburg organizes the International Summer Academy, which is one of the world’s largest and most renowned institutions of its kind, with more than 60 master classes and 800 to 1,000 participants.
Excerpts from the program booklets :
The composer Georg Friedrich Haas divides the musicians into two groups: strings, percussion and accordion accompany as an orchestra, while winds and harp play as soloists, first hidden behind a curtain and then appearing on the playing surface. For the musicians of Klangforum Wien, this means playing these passages from memory. Haas is grateful that the musicians accept this challenge and dare the experiment for the premiere.
A comparison with Prokofiev’s musical fairy tale “Peter and the Wolf” is obvious. While in Prokofiev’s thematic material and motifs with their assigned animals recur in the story and music, in Mira Lobe’s story the animals appear one after the other and (with one exception) only once. The instruments and musical passages assigned to the animals by Haas thus sound one after the other and only once in the piece. Fortunately: “I wouldn’t know how to make the bass tuba reappear,” Haas says jokingly in a conversation.
With this piece and this story, the composer wants to interact with the audience. Children, parents and friends are invited to take part in the action, to sing along and to speak along with the lyrics. For this purpose, there will be a small rehearsal with the conductor Johannes Kalitzke before the piece begins. The realization “I-am-I” is to be literally experienced.
It will not only be exciting from a staging point of view, but also musically. Haas does not want to reveal his compositional techniques used in the work – the audience should hear, should experience. The techniques are only there to implement and express what is desired. Originally revolutionary compositional techniques of the 20th century such as microtonality, seriality or twelve-tone technique are commonplace today. Haas uses everything that is possible. The decisive factor for him is solely the sound, the sound experience.
“Don’t expect melodies to whistle after you. Just listen with open ears.”
So what will we hear?
A sound drama!
This much may be revealed: At an incisive point, an unexpected very beautiful sound emerges – which drags on to the end and still builds up.
Text and Interview: Anna Barbara Kastelewicz
Friedrich Cerha is the senior of the Austrian composers of the present day and has decisively shaped the development of musical life in Austria during his long period of activity. This not only through his works, whose list is correspondingly extensive, but also through the multitude of activities and functions he exercised.
In particular, he was committed to the promotion, development and dissemination of New Music. A high public recognition for this effort was his presidency in the Austrian Section of the International Society for New Music (IGNM) (1968 – 1975) and his later honorary membership. As early as 1958 he founded the ensemble “die reihe” together with his composer colleague Schwertsik. Here, the Viennese public was to be introduced to classical modernism as well as to the latest sound creations. He subsequently taught various subjects at the Vienna Academy of Music from 1959 onwards, and from 1964 to 1970 he led a special course in electronic music. But he also appeared as a violinist and as a conductor or leader of ensembles, orchestras and operas at renowned institutions, opera houses and festivals dedicated to the cultivation of new music.
Text: Anna Barbara Kastelewicz
“Cloudy Clouds” sounds haunting and experimental at the same time. Liszt designed a foundation with semitone movements and diminished triads and combines them with a melody based on a Hungarian minor scale, the Gypsy scale with two augmented second steps. Franz Liszt also used these “Zingarese” figures, especially in his Hungarian Rhapsodies. The movement structure is free.
“Nuages gris” already points compositionally to the future. “Nuages gris” inspired subsequent generations of composers to their compositions – like Debussy to “Nuages” and later also Kagel to “Unguis incarnatus est” and Holliger to “two Liszt-Transcriptions”.
Text and Interview: Anna Barbara Kastelewicz
Around 1730, the time of composition of this Fantasy and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542, Bach had already been ten years in office as Thomaskantor in Leipzig. His income was not too “favorable”, but his tasks were enormous. For every Sunday Bach had to compose and perform a new cantata. In addition, he had to teach Latin at the Thomas School. In addition, there were musical services at funerals, weddings and other festivities to improve the meager basic fee a little.
In 1729, he additionally took over the direction of the “Telemannische” Collegium musicum, which performed instrumental works once or twice a week, mainly in Leipzig coffee houses. Here Bach used the harpsichord as a solo instrument for the first time on a larger scale – perhaps also to give his two eldest sons the opportunity to perform as soloists and to gain appropriate experience.
In addition, he attempted to expand his sphere of activity beyond his official duties in Leipzig, traveling and taking on commissions and homage compositions. A petition to the Elector of Dresden and the dedication of the Mass in B minor to the same, for example, earned him the title of Saxon-Polish “court composer.”
It is a testimony to Bach’s genius and creative power that he created and performed so many tremendous masterpieces in this situation. A period began in which he turned increasingly to instrumental music – especially for organ and harpsichord.
With such a volume of work, it is no wonder that Bach drew upon and reworked existing works in his compositions. All of the thirteen concertos for one or more harpsichords with strings and basso continuo are arrangements of Bach’s own or other composers’ ensemble concertos – with one exception: this Concerto in C major for 2 harpsichords.
Text: Anna Barbara Kastelewicz
In today’s concert we will experience Thomas Riebl’s five-string tenor viola, built by master luthier Bernd Hiller. It was built according to Riebl’s own wishes. A constructive task: a viola that is still light enough to be played on the arm, yet has enough strength to withstand the pressure of the lower and additionally developed F or E string.
The catalyst for this commission from Riebl was Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata, which was written for an instrument, the arpeggione, that can only be found in museums today. Today’s violists play this work on the viola – and have to octave some passages, i.e. move to the higher octave in some places, since otherwise notes would not be playable. Riebl’s wish now was to be able to play the piece in the original.
In order to expand the original repertoire for the instrument he had now gained, Riebl commissioned composers to write pieces for it. In 2011, for example, Rudolf Jungwirth’s (*1955) “Élégie – Hommage à Gérard Grisey for five-string tenor viola” was dedicated to Thomas Riebl. The young composer Michael Andreas Grolid, who plays the violin and viola himself, also received such a commission. He took on this special instrument and composed his “Image” for five-string tenor viola. He had met Thomas Riebl at a master class Riebl gave in Norway. There Grolid also played his own composition with his string quartet. This seemed to inspire Riebl, so that the composition commission came about.
Text und Interview: Anna Barbara Kastelewicz
Hungarian Folk Music and Gypsy Music
Both musicians, Zoltán Kodály and Béla Bartók, contributed in their own special way to the development of a nationally influenced Hungarian musical style in the European context. They established renewals in Hungarian music at the beginning of the 20th century.
With devotion, both explored the musical roots of their people – certainly also motivated by the trend of the time, the emerging national consciousness towards the end of the 19th century and reinforced by the complete state independence of Hungary after 1918.
Both scientifically investigated Hungarian folk music from the various Hungarian regions – songs and dance music that were still abundant in written, phonographic or oral traditions among the rural population. In a field research, both of them collected three to four thousand of these melodies in only a few years, systematized them and published them for the first time in 1906.
It turned out that the recorded melodies were clearly different from the “gypsy melodies” that were so popular and idealized in the 19th century. The lively music of the mainly rural population had little to do with the popular art music, which, under the term “gypsy music”, was misleadingly taken for typically Hungarian. It was precisely the differences, for example, from the major-minor system and the symmetry ideal of classical melody formation, which they found in the various regions, that were of interest to them.
Musical Starting Point.
These results were for both, for Kodály and for Bartók, the starting point for their own creative musical development. However, both drew different conclusions for their compositions and took different paths.
Bartók used the folkloristic melodies and strengthened the found elements, such as rhythm, forms, melodic motives and also simplicity. His musical language pointed in Western European avant-garde directions, according to the currents of the time.
Kodály, on the other hand, took the melodies and tried to integrate them directly into his compositions. He used authentic melodies and parts of melodies. This principle, the consistent recourse to authentic folk songs, went so far that even an entire opera, “The Spinning Room,” was constructed from original folk songs and dances. It was performed in Budapest in 1932. In other compositions, such as his variations on “The Peacock,” at least the theme is taken from a folk song or, in addition to original folk songs, melodies are used that are
Text: Anna Barbara Kastelewicz