Concertgebouw Orchestra to perform world premiere by Beat Furrer

David Robertson conducting old and new music featuring vocal ensemble Cantando Admont
Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest image: Simon van Boxtel
Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest image: Simon van Boxtel
On Friday and Saturday, 6 and 7 May, David Robertson will conduct the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in the world premiere of Beat Furrer’s newly commissioned Sechs Gesänge. It features vocal ensemble Cantando Admont, which will also perform a thematically appropriate work from the sixteenth century by Cristóbal de Morales. The programme also features Pas de deux by Dutch composer Otto Ketting, György Ligeti’s Atmosphères and Coptic Light by Morton Feldman.
 
Prior to the 6 May concert at The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, at 7.15 p.m. an introduction will be given by Elmer Schönberger, author of the recently published biography of Otto Ketting, who died ten years ago. After the concert, visitors are welcome to Meet the Artists.
 
On 7 May, the programme will be performed at the Philharmonie in Cologne as part of the festival EIGHT BRIDGES | Music for Cologne. Together with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the festival co-commissioned Beat Furrer’s Sechs Gesänge.
 
The Swiss-Austrian composer Beat Furrer based his new work on the Sara Gallardo’s ground-breaking novel Eisejuaz (1971), in which an indigenous inhabitant of the Amazon rain forest is calling the trees and animals which once formed the basis of his culture, destroyed by centuries of colonialism. Furrer’s strongly polyphonic work is coupled to a work by Cristóbal de Morales, in which Jeremiah laments the loss of Jerusalem and its people. Morales’s contemporary, Bartolomé de Las Casas, was the first official representative of the Spanish occupiers to resist the dehumanisation of the New World natives.
 
The world premiere of Beat Furrer’s Sechs Gesänge was made possible by Pro Helvetia.