Many of Richard Strauss´s compositions had their world premiere in Dresden and the composer dedicated An Alpine Symphony to the Dresden orchestra. The programme includes Four Last Songs, Ernster Gesang by Wolfgang Rihm and the German premiere of the last completed Strauss song "Mallows" in an orchestral version, arranged specifically for Dresden by Wolfgang Rihm.
Wolfgang Rihm's works often emerge in family groups, with one piece serving as the starting point for a whole hierarchy of others, but the starting point for the five movements of the Nähe Ferne symphony was another composer. Rihm was commissioned by the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra to write pendants to each of Brahms's four symphonies, and after they were performed, he assembled the set into a symphony of his own, adding to the sequence an orchestration ……Andrew Clements - The Guardian, Thursday 25 April 2013
Deus Passus is one quarter of the Passion Project 2000, which celebrated not only the turning of the millennium but also commemorated the 250th anniversary of Bach’s death. German conductor Helmuth Rilling honored this occasion by commissioning Passions from four disparate composers: Wolfgang Rihm, Tan Dun, Sofia Gubaidulina, and Osvaldo Golijov. Deus Passus is a setting of the Passion according to St. Luke, and it is a marvel of a piece for many reasons. For a full hour and a half, with music that is mostly slow and largely atonal (in the sense that Berg’s music is atonal), the twisting, aching, unpredictable harmonies are totally captivating. Rihm chooses a straightforward setting, a simple, dramatic telling of the story, and it is in his capacity for restraint that the true brilliance of the piece lies. He uses the chorus sparingly, mostly for dramatic purposes, having it portray the angry rabble bent on crucifying Jesus (as it often does in Bach’s passions).
Veteran violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter is not performing the usual Beethoven or Mozart repertoire here, but branching out to embrace new music commissioned for her. Along for the ride are the excellent New York Philharmonic under the baton of Michael Francis for the first Rihm work, and then under Alan Gilbert for the Currier piece, along with contrabassist Roman Patkoló. Lichtes Spiel (for violin and small orchestra) is indeed a "light game," with layered voices in the strings.
The great Bohemian-born composer Gustav Mahler once said, "A symphony must be like the world. It must embrace everything." Over the course of its nearly 300-year life, the symphony has indeed embraced almost every trend to be found in Western concert music.
Drawing from ancient knowledge and cutting edge science, SYMPHONY OF THE SOIL is an artistic exploration of the miraculous substance soil. By understanding the elaborate relationships and mutuality between soil, water, the atmosphere, plants and animals, we come to appreciate the complex and dynamic nature of this precious resource. The film also examines our human relationship with soil, the use and misuse of soil in agriculture, deforestation and development, and the latest scientific research on soil's key role in ameliorating the most challenging environmental problems of our time. Filmed on four continents, featuring esteemed scientists and working farmers and ranchers, SYMPHONY OF THE SOIL is an intriguing presentation that highlights possibilities of healthy soil creating healthy plants creating healthy humans living on a healthy planet.