A deception with unforeseen consequences: In 1968, György Ligeti was a jury member for a composition competition, together with his Danish colleague Per Nørgård. Nørgård planted the forgotten oeuvre of a Danish composer of the late Romantic period among the submitted scores. It immediately caught Ligeti’s eye. In the shimmering layering of sound and the clusters that he discovered in Rued Langgaard’s Sfærenes Musik, he recognized traits of his own music. This was the beginning of a rediscovery of visionary Dane Langgaard. In his Music of the Spheres, featuring a large orchestra, a “distant” orchestra, organ, piano, choir and soprano soloist, Langgaard took Richard Wagner’s atmospheric sound layering one step further.
Around 100 years previously, Richard Wagner composed Die Walküre (The Valkyrie) as the second part (or first day) of his “Bühnenfestspiel” (stage festival play) Der Ring des Nibelungen. Its first act takes up the narrative of the fall of the Gods. The prelude to the first act signals severe weather – chaos – a manhunt. In the encounter of Siegmund and Hunding, the hunted and his pursuer, and in the mutual recognition of siblings Siegmund and Sieglinde and their incestuous love, the violations of the law occur that will ultimately entangle Wotan and foil his plans to protect and safeguard his authority.
Donald Runnicles, a Ring-specialist renowned from San Francisco to Vienna and Berlin will conduct this concertante performance of Act One of Die Walküre. He is joined by soprano Anja Harteros, tenor Peter Seiffert and bass Georg Zeppenfeld.