Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Cleveland Orchestra: Widmann's Trauermarsch (1/12/17)

What a stunning performance...

The Cleveland Orchestra: Widmann's Trauermarsch (1/12/17)

"The performances were transporting – Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra at their most virtuosic and majestic. 

Widmann's 25-minute Trauermarsch originated as a joint commission by the Berliner Philharmoniker, the San Francisco Symphony and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Yefim Bronfman was the soloist in the Berlin and San Francisco performances, and repeated his tour de force performance in Cleveland. The Toronto première is yet to come.

The musical material is based on the motif of a descending interval, first heard softly in the unaccompanied solo piano, then accompanied by growling low strings, and settling into a typical funeral march slow duple meter, with heavily accented downbeats. The solo piano plays constantly through the whole work, sometimes subsumed into the texture of the vast orchestra, which includes a huge percussion section. The texture thickens, with a multitude of arresting colors, and the tempo accelerates. Eventually the sturdy rhythm gives way to a phantasmagorical development of the material. The piano becomes ever more strident and desperate, eventually including full-hand and forearm clusters from one end of the piano to the other. Much of the piano music lies high on the keyboard, with a chiming, bell-like effect, but, combined with the percussion, in shimmering, mysterious effects."

(Via Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra majestic in Widmann and Bruckner | by Bachtrack for classical music, opera, ballet and dance event reviews.)

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