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Open your ears to a new sound world created by composer Helmut Lachenmann during Southbank Centre's Helmut Lachenmann Weekend.
‘The music of Helmut Lachenmann sounds like nothing else,’ explains Gillian Moore, Southbank Centre’s Head of Contemporary Culture. ‘It’s as if we are hearing the ghost of musical sounds. Wind instruments play with different colours of breath tone, string players tap on the wood, bow on the fingerboard or on the back of the instrument, singers perform arias by tapping on their cheeks or clicking their tongues. But this is far from being perverse, gimmicky noise music. It is full of rhythm, musicality, and a particularly ravishing kind of sonic beauty.’
Such descriptions may sound familiar to those who know the work of Edgard Varèse. Moore agrees: ‘Lachenmann takes the sonic path first trodden by Edgard Varèse, creating post-electronic sounds on conventional instruments; but he imbues it with a powerful sense of his own, German, symphonic tradition, distilled through the experiences of the 20th century. Like that of his teacher Luigi Nono, Lachenmann’s radical and poetic music invites the listener in to a new kind of focused listening which is illuminating, revealing and hugely rewarding.’
Over the Helmut Lachenmann Weekend a variety of works are explored from a whole day of chamber music to symphonic works performed by Southbank Centre Resident Orchestra the London Sinfonietta – one of the world’s leading performers of contemporary classical music. The latter play Ausklang for piano and orchestra and Schreiben, a dazzling showcase of Lachenmann’s unconventional writing that demands new techniques from established instruments. ‘It’s fascinating, original and unique music, and extends my idea of what beauty is,’ says pianist Rolf Hind, who is performing during the chamber day with members of the London Sinfonietta. 'I would hope that others might feel the same.'
Join some of the world’s leading contemporary music performers in celebrating the German composer Helmut Lachenmann’s 75th birthday. Enjoy performances of his visionary and extremely original music. Saturday 23 & Sunday 24 October 2010.
This festival has now finished