Tuesday, March 04, 2008

March 4, 2008

Jörg Widmann's Antiphon Sees North American Premiere with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Following last month's world premiere by Paavo Järvi and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Jörg Widmann's Antiphon sees its North American premiere on Friday, March 7 under Maestro Jarvi and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Modeled after the principles of Venetian polychorality, the work is characterized by each instrumental choir alternating constantly and rapidly throughout. Widmann elaborates:
I abandoned entirely my preference for the smallest of transitions and imperceptible merging of sounds in favor of a clearly separating 'splitting sound', of a radical cutting technique. The basic material is rather simple and strictly limited: a fast fanfare rhythm, a slowly repeated ritual-like stretched percussion pulse, and a melodic shape that, on each new note, wanders to another instrument group. Monophony gradually becomes a two part, then three-part structure and finally polyphony which jumps in sections from instrument group to instrument group. Everything is subjugated to the idea of alternate singing, of the antiphon.
The Cincinnati Symphony follows the premiere performance with a performance on March 8.

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