Composition Commission to Alberto Posadas

The chamber music festival Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik together with the Neue Vocalsolisten and ensemble recherche have issued a composition commission to the Spanish composer Alberto Posadas for a cycle to fill an entire evening. Lasting about 70–75 minutes the work for six voices and ten instruments entitled Poética del camino will be premiered at the end of April 2020 as part of the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik by the Neue Vocalsolisten and ensemble recherche and performed shortly after that in Freiburg and Stuttgart.

The cycle Poética del camino (Poetics of the Path) consists of nine pieces featuring different, increasingly growing line-ups played without any interval that begin with a solo piece for bass clarinet and end with the whole tutti line-up. Use of the space and the walkways for the musicians between the individual pieces are key aspects in the work. The positioning of the sound sources and the signposts (both in the musical material and in the sound itself) relate here to a dramaturgy that revolves around the idea of the path as a poetic subject. All paths of the musicians are linked to a specific form of sound that serves as a “bridge” between the pieces. Different aspects of this “path” idea, as featured in German and Spanish poetry from various eras, serve as the point of departure for all levels of processing: textual, metaphoric, structural etc. Antonio Machado, Jorge Manrique, Wilhelm Müller and Hermann Hesse are the authors of the texts used here which all deal with the path theme. Thus, the path is understood as a symbol of inner exile (Hermann Hesse’s Dorfabend), of the transition to death (Wilhelm Müller’s Irrlicht and Jorge Manrique’s Coplas de la muerte de su padre), as a symbol of transience and the process of eternal becoming (Antonio Machado Proverbios y Cantares XXIX).

All these ideas link the concept of the path with the process of listening which is understood as the creative phenomenon of eternal creation and constant redefinition. The cycle seeks to expose instrumental and vocal, spatial and musical references that give the listener space to seek and find their own way of listening.

April/May 2020

June 2020

October 2020

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