Constantly striving to set new impulses in the examination of Karl Amadeus Hartmann’s œuvre and – in keeping with his spirit – to promote young composers, we were able to offer the Karl Amadeus Hartmann Composition Prize for the first time this year. In order to achieve a higher programmatic density, not only instrumental and temporal, but above all content-related conditions were attached to the call for proposals. Thus the composition to be premiered enters into a stringent connection of the greatest possible coherence with the framework of the evening. We are very pleased to introduce you to the new prize winner Jingyu Jang and to premiere the awarded work “Omega”.
Besides him, the second composer of the evening – José María Sánchez-Verdú, one of the most renowned composers of our days – will also be present and enrich our composer’s discussion. “Born in the extreme south of Spain (Al-Andaluz), the history, literature, mysticism and music of this territory fascinate me. The Mediterranean (Mare nostrum) as a space of encounters, movements, searches, exchanges, cultures and religions, but also of catastrophes, war and death” says the composer. The Mediterranean Sea represents for him the connection of the European with the Arab-Moorish world. Sánchez-Verdú seeks and finds a correspondence between Arabic poetry, calligraphy and architecture in his own musical aesthetics: ornamentation embedded in strict structure. “There are very filigree patterns that are developed in a geometric way through a surface, so that they can no longer be traced. You can only see the figure as a whole.”
Although only completed in 1945/46, Karl Amadeus Hartmann’s second string quartet still recalls the horrors of the Nazi era and the war. It is no coincidence that the motif of the slow introduction of the first movement is reminiscent of the Jewish Eliyahu hanavi quotation, presented as the instrumental extreme of a lament initially led by the violoncello to the soprano. This form closes with an allusion to the whole tone sequence in Alban Berg’s violin concerto with the characteristic, latently resonant Bach chorale text “Es ist genug” [“It is enough”]. But what follows, described by the composer as “extremely lively and very energetic”, is the groundbreaking feat of a new beginning!
An event of the © Karl Amadeus Hartmann-Gesellschaft e. V., sponsoreed by Bayerische Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst, Kulturreferat der Landeshauptstadt München, LfA Förderbank Bayern and Bezirk Oberbayern.