Wolfgang Rihm has a distinguished reputation on the European avant-garde scene, and has composed for most of the major festivals and opera houses. During his emergence on the musical scene in the 1970s, he was regarded as less revolutionary than the likes of Karlheinz Stockhausen, as his music holds vestiges of romantic and expressionist techniques of Mahler and Schoenberg. In our fragmented musical landscape, Rihm's a substantial figure, enormously respected for his prolific output across a wide range of genres and known for an engagingly immediate, historically allusive style of composition, free from the forbiddingly complex structures of his immediate predecessors.
This piece (first performed in Berlin in 1982, but only now scheduled in UK) is a two-hour ballet in two parts, inspired by the writings of radical French playwright Antonin Artaud. Diverse in style, with passages of delicacy and gentle beauty alongside blasts of recorded sound alongside all kinds of experimental textures and rhythms, its only unifying feature is a spirit of rebellion taken from Artaud.
The Total Immersion series attempts to win new audiences over to contemporary classical music by presenting uncompromisingly experimental works. Although critics have recently suggested that it has lost a sense of adventure - at 62, Rihm is one of the youngest composers in a programme dominated by the 90-year old Pierre Boulez - Tutuguri seems likely to restore its reputation for showcasing the outlandish. Book a place now, but beware: this will not be a soothing Saturday evening out.
|What||Total Immersion: Percussion|
|Where||Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Barbican (underground)|
On 31 Jan 15, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Barbican|