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Brucknercasco

Christiaan Richter & Camerata RCO

the composer

Christiaan Richter

the symphony

Bruckner No. 5

the ensemble

Camerata RCO

Sun. September 15, 15:00

Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam

the composer

Christiaan Richter

IChristiaan earned his master’s degree in composition from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague in 2014. His works are regularly performed; in 2018, George Benjamin conducted Richter’s acclaimed composition “Wendingen” with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO). Here, Christiaan demonstrates his mastery in incorporating and dosing influences, transforming them into a distinctly recognizable sound of his own. This is particularly evident in “2270,” also composed for the RCO, where he magnifies themes from Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto, activating his imagination to reach entirely new personal insights. At such moments, he crafts his highly original (sound) world, subtly and perhaps imperceptibly drawing the listener in. Similarly, in his recent piano concerto “muTaTum,” where the music of jazz pianist Art Tatum, admired by Stravinsky and Rachmaninov, intertwines with Christiaan’s, creating entirely new structures as the foundation for a wholly original, individual, and standalone work.

the new composition

Christiaan on his new composition

‘A few years ago, I observed that at the end of the famous final coda of Bruckner’s Fifth, the climax of the entire work, several additional measures should be inserted to sustain the tension longer. Here, Bruckner, in my opinion, too quickly moves to the triumphant and safe tonic, whereas in this work, he achieves a mastery and logic in form that is beyond reproach, simultaneously maintaining its more capricious and pronounced improvisational aspects, characteristic of the original versions of the Third and Fourth symphonies. Bruckner 5 is an imposing structure that challenges not only in craftsmanship but also in perseverance and vision. Numerous moments trigger compositional potential towards further possibilities, such as measure 315 of the finale, refined measures that anticipate Webern, Xenakis, Feldman, or the sudden and brutal contrasts at the beginning of the work!’

‘Bruckner considers the first three movements as preparation for the enormous finale. While themes in parts 2 and 3 are similar, they have entirely different tempos, resulting in a completely different outcome. For my new piece, Bruckner’s Fifth will undergo various rinsings, pressings, and filtrations. I aim to collapse all movements into the concept of a ‘super-finale,’ a one-part work without breaks. This play with repetition, large and small, inversion, and the use of material at different speeds, I want to continue, magnify, and expand much further, to labyrinthine proportions. Bruckner’s Fifth is an ideal starting point to further develop my long-standing interest in counterpoint in my new work, perhaps more than I have ever been able to do. Contrasts will be magnified, even to the extent that it brings about a disruptive effect. With the chamber music setting of the new work, prominently featured passages will generate a kind of theatricality, highlighting the effort to form a significant tutti. Instrumental virtuosity and timbre will play a more prominent role in the new work than in Bruckner.’

the ensemble

Camerata RCO

Orchestra, enjoying playing in small ensemble settings. Not only is the repertoire of a small ensemble different, but chamber music is also more personal and intimate. They have complete freedom in choosing repertoire, venues, and collaborators. For Camerata, Bruckner is both essential and integral. Firstly, because the members of Camerata regularly perform the traditional symphonies with the RCO, but also because Camerata collaborates with conductor Rolf Verbeek, who has arranged several Bruckner symphonies for the ensemble. The members of Camerata have worked with Christiaan on previous occasions; the RCO commissioned him twice for composition projects: with “2270” and “Wendingen.” Camerata RCO expressed immediate interest in collaborating with Christiaan for Bruckner Casco. Camerata RCO is eager to explore contemporary music and sees Bruckner Casco as the perfect opportunity as it bridges Bruckner with entirely new music.

FAVORITE YOUTUBE VERSION

Symphony No. 5

During Bruckner Casco, Christiaan Richter will create a ‘super-finale’ of the Fifth Symphony. From minute 48.30 until the end of the symphony, you can hear why this Finale is so famous. Moreover, for the ‘White Stripes moment,’ you should listen to minutes 18.00 – 18.30 in the first movement.

Symfonie No 5, Claudio Abbado Wiener Philharmoniker.