Anton Webern Kantate I & II

Friday 17th June - Philharmonie de Paris

The two Kantate opus 29 and op 31, end and accomplishment of Anton Webern’s work, represent perfect realizations which depend on the balance of the means employed.

The Kantate I for solo soprano, mixed choir and orchestra, dated from 1939, is in three movements. In the first part, the orchestra and choir alternate to express lightning, thunder, and finally the peace of the choirs, into an expressive antithesis. The second movement is considered the largest Lied composed by Webern, the choir is absent and gives way to the soloist and the orchestra. The last movement sets the reunion of the three protagonists.

The second Kantate, dated from 1943, “appears to be a visionary work, because it brings a new way of conceiving musical relationships which is no longer didactic in any way. Many new ideas are contained therein, “declared Pierre Boulez about this work.

It shows the unique place Anton Webern occupied among the Viennese composers of the same period. While Schönberg and Berg relate to the decadence of the great German Romantic movement, and bring it to an end, Webern reacts violently against all rhetoric of inheritance: he destroys any pre-existing organization and focus on the beauty of the sound, obsessed with formal purity, to complete silence. Webern’s work is one that has opened up the most new perspectives in contemporary music.

Ensemble intercomporain
Ensemble Aedes
Matthias Pintscher, conductor

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