Les Espaces Acoustiques
Thursday, 16. November 2017, 19:30
«Few composers could claim to have initiated a whole style. Debussy is one, Webern another, Gérard Grisey – who would have been 70 in 2016 – is a third. Grisey was the initiator of spectral music (a name invented by others), which, emerging in Paris in the 1970s, reinserted harmony to post-tonal composition on a new footing.» (Liam Cagney / Gramophone).
Grisey’s music doesn’t sound technical at all, even if he analysed overtone spectrums with a computer and reassembled them in completely new and surprising combinations. In doing so, he created a glittering, iridescent, rainbow-coloured alternative model to the music of the post-war avant-garde. Rarely does music appear so organic as with Grisey, or radiate such a grasp of the nature of music and of perception. His opus magnum, Les Espaces acoustiques (The acoustic spaces, 1974–1985), celebrates the art of the smallest transition in truly ecstatic style: in six stages, the music develops from viola solo to seven and then 18 musicians to an orchestra plus four soloists at the end.
A glance into the history of Wien Modern shows that the monumental work is performed live once every decade during the festival. For the 30th anniversary with all of the unconventional details of Grisey’s revolutionary score, which well-meaning conductors mostly gloss over – the irritated reactions of the musicians, interval gongs, lighting effects, the invasion of ordinary life into art.
Webern Ensemble Wien,
Les Espaces Acoustiques (1974-1985)
Im Rahmen von 200 Jahre mdw
Produktion Wien Modern
Koproduktion mdw – Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien