Karajan-Akademie (photo: Tim Deussen)

Karajan Academy

Contemporary music with Matthias Pintscher and the Karajan Academy

New music at first hand: Matthias Pintscher is not only one of the leading composers of our time, but also a renowned conductor – the ideal person to teach the students of the Karajan Academy what is important in the performance of contemporary music. In addition to his own composition bereshit which depicts the emergence of a sound from nothing, there are works by another two “classics” of contemporary music on the programme: Helmut Lachenmann and Hans Werner Henze.

Scholars of the Karajan Academy

Matthias Pintscher conductor

Leandra Brehm clarinet

Academy VI

Helmut Lachenmann

Mouvement (– vor der Erstarrung)

Hans Werner Henze

Le Miracle de la Rose – Imaginäres Theater II

Matthias Pintscher

bereshit for large ensemble

Dates and Tickets

Fri, 25 May 2018, 20:00

Chamber Music Hall | Introduction: 19:00

Serie KA


Karajan-Akademie der Berliner Philharmoniker e.V.

Herbert-von-Karajan-Straße 1

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Helmut Lachenmann’s Mouvement (– vor der Erstarrung) brings to mind Kafka’s Gregor Samsa, who wakes up one morning as a beetle, lying on his back, unable to turn over without help: the piece is characterised by the “unsuccessful” attempts to create traditionally tonal sound figures. “A music of dead movements,” which “display an inner paralysis that precede external appearance, [...] imagination that gives up all expressive utopias before a perceived threat and, like a beetle floundering helplessly on its back, freewheels in reconfirming acquired mechanisms” (Lachenmann). With the quotation from the Viennese folk song “O du lieber Augustin, alles ist hin”, it becomes clear that the Old is fading – but without something optimistically New in its place. Lachenmann’s Mouvement opens this concert by the students of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Karajan Academy under the direction of Matthias Pintscher.

A “theatre of the imagination” follows in Hans Werner Henze’s Le Miracle de la Rose after the novel of the same name by the French writer Jean Genet, in which the characters are personified by various instruments: cor anglais and solo clarinet portray the 16-year-old double murderer Harcomone who is in prison awaiting his execution. The four black-dressed gentlemen who enter the condemned cell are represented by trumpet (judge), horn (clergyman), trombone (attorney) and heckelphone (hangman).

The concert closes with Matthias Pintscher’s ensemble piece bereshit, named after the first word of the Torah, from the Old Testament. In the work, the music traces the biblical creation myth: “bereshit,” the composer writes, “emerges from an initial sound as if from an absolute nothing, from a sound which subsides into percussive noises, from which elements then disentangle themselves and condense. [...] The composition emerges from the idea of freeing an entire compendium of sounds, gestures, rhythms, orchestrations from an original state of sound.”

Karajan-Akademie (photo: Tim Deussen)

Matthias Pintscher (photo: Jeremy Garamond)