One of the highlights of the Moscow residency is the musicAeterna orchestra’s concert of 20th and 21st-century works that engage with the German music tradition and the legacy of Mahler.
The first part is dedicated to composers of the Second Viennese School. The concert will open with Arnold Schönberg’s Chamber Symphony No. 1 (1906), a challenging and controversial work in terms of form and content, a concise recap of late romanticist instrumental music, summarizing its achievements and looking to the future. Works by two of Schönberg’s greatest students will continue the programme. Lyric Suite (1926) by Alban Berg is a passionate confession of forbidden love presented in a perfectly elaborated form. The other is Anton Webern’s Symphony (1928), with its extremely compressed language, crystalline symmetry, and endless structural depth, typical of the composer’s mature style.
The second part will begin with the music of Mark Andre, one of the most influential European composers today. In Drei Stücke für Ensemble (2018), as in his other pieces, he works with the poetics of disappearance and sounds on the borderline of audibility. The programme also includes contemplative and melancholic Archipelago S (1993), a composition by Japanese classic Tōru Takemitsu, and Alexey Retinsky’s C-dur (2010/20), a dark, paradoxical work for string orchestra, developing Mahler’s idea of a tragic separation from the ideal and a barely possible finding of harmony.
The musicAeterna orchestra will be conducted by Fedor Lednev, one of Russia’s leading contemporary conductors and an expert in the music of the 20th and 21st centuries. Working for many years with Russia’s major theatres, orchestras, and contemporary music ensembles, he has conducted over 200 premieres of works by composers from Russia and other countries. Since 2019, Fedor Lednev has been the conductor of musicAeterna.