Concerto grosso No. 1 for four alphorns and orchestra commissioned by musica viva of the Bavarian Broadcasting, BR, Wien Modern, Tonhalle (Zürich) and Los Angeles Philharmonic
Symphony No. 8 in C minor (Robert Haas Version)
A Berliner Festspiele/Musikfest Berlin event
In many regards, this concert evening begins in an unusual way with the concerto grosso Nr. 1, which Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Hass wrote for four alphorns and orchestra. The alphorn is an instrument that has no keys, slides or valves and only produces the pitches in its overtone series. It is known for outdoor use in alpine regions. In his composition “concerto grosso”, Haas has combined the instrument with a large orchestra.
The work’s title captures the relationship between alphorn quartet and orchestra, namely the alternation between solo and tutti that leads to confusing and beautiful sound constellations and the term “concertare” refers to the musical enthusiasm and enormous instrumental skills required of the musicians. As Haas states, the virtuosity of the four alphorn players as well as that of the orchestra lies not in their ability to race through scales but to perform microtonal intonation and thereby build a fascinating sound world.
The hornroh modern alphorn quartet and SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden and Freiburg under François-Xavier Roth generate these sound worlds together, giving a whole new perspective on the sound architecture of Anton Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony.