Music beyond ordinariness
In a world comprising a medley of sounds and tones, a concentrated preoccupation with music is particularly valuable. Experiencing music, however, can amount to more than sheer well-being or an antidote to everyday stress. Hosted by the Department of Music, the forthcoming Lachenmann Symposium aims to kindle our longing for the unknown.
BY JÖRN PETER HIEKEL
“We do not simply hear something new, but we hear in a new way and with different ears, we hear something unheard of in this sense,” writes the philosopher Bernhard Waldenfels, who was recently a guest at ZHdK. This listening experience has to do with longing for a particular intensity, with which contemporary music, in a self-evident manner of sorts, relies on a tonal language that consciously escapes the familiar and whatever else makes easy listening. This perspective also outlines the horizon of many contemporary composers — including those teaching and studying at ZHdK.
Longing entices listening adventures
Lachenmann Symposium at ZHdK
Helmut Lachenmann’s music, which is among the most influential positions within contemporary music far beyond Europe, has frequently been combined in symphony concerts with that of Robert Schumann, most recently by Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker. One of Lachenmann’s major pieces is titled “‘Zwei Gefühle …’. Music with Leonardo.” It later made its way into Lachenmann’s probably best-known work, the opera “Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern” (“The Girl with the Sulphur Woods”), a highly impressive contribution to the theme of longing. This piece, which has already been performed in numerous musical metropolises in Europe, America and Asia, will finally be performed in Zurich from October 2019. It also forms the centrepiece of a small Lachenmann Symposium. Organised jointly by ZHdK’s Department of Music and Zurich Opera House, the event will feature three concerts and an international symposium.