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Beethovenfest

Beethoven and more podcast 4: New music at the Beethovenfest

In this new work specially commissioned by the festival, Peter Ruzicka tests the bounds of his compositional technique.

Composer Peter Ruzicka

Composer Peter Ruzicka

Peter Ruzicka (1948-)

"...Ueber die Grenze..." (Across the Border). Concerto for cello and chamber orchestra (world premiere, commissioned by the Beethovenfest Bonn; excerpt)

Daniel Mueller-Scott (cello)

Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen

Conductor: Peter Ruzicka

MP3 recorded by West German Radio, Cologne (WDR), on September 15, 2010 in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn

Peter Ruzicka has made a name for himself as a conductor and music manager both within and beyond Germany, but he's especially well-regarded as a composer.

This year, as "Composer and Artist in Residence" at the Beethovenfest, Ruzicka is on hand in a four-part concert series. A high point: the world premiere of a new cello concerto titled "Ueber die Grenze" (Across the Border) on September 15 in Bonn's Beethoven Hall. The performance was rewarded with lengthy ovations. The Beethovenfest commissioned the work.

Peter Ruzicka said his cello concerto is "not a virtuosic piece in the tradition of Romantic concert literature." Rather, he intended to break out of his customary musical grammar and achieve a new "multilingualism." The concerto contains thematic references to some of his earlier pieces and to works by other composers, particularly Gustav Mahler. Stark emotional contrasts lead the listener through shifting planes and perspectives: from moments of silence, in which the listener almost unintentionally holds his breath, to unexpected thunder from the depths of the percussion section. This takes on an almost threatening and sinister quality when other instruments are added to the mix - particularly the brass section. The end returns to the stillness and quiet of the piece's beginning - as Peter Ruzicka described it, an "almost nothingness."

Author: Marita Berg (gsw)
Editor: Rick Fulker

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