Composition Commission issued to Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf

Sinfonietta Leipzig, Germany

Over the next few years Sinfonietta Leipzig is planning to perform all chamber symphonies by Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf and to record them on a CD. With the support of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation they have also issued a composition commission to the composer for a Fourth Chamber Symphony. The composer describes his project as follows: “One of my initial works is the First Chamber Symphony by Schönberg, due to its formal compression, expressive gestures, powerful polyphony and variety. My first accomplishment was my dissertation on this work. The second was my (First) Chamber Symphony 1993/94. In 1999 I then composed the Second Chamber Symphony and in 2007 my third. Every seven years I sort of take stock of the current status of my artistic development with a work caught between solo piece and orchestra. Every piece of work has a fundamentally different concept of symphonics. At the start no musician is autonomous and is not even a soloist. Gradually, for every musician a particular character peels away its layers revealing a path that develops so strongly at certain points that other musicians are cast under its spell and united into groups from which others in turn withdraw and live their “lives”. This is therefore an attempt to let 15 soloists live and yet also promote their conviviality at the same time. Here I follow on from an early composition, the piano piece "Rhizom" from 1988/89 in which I attempted something similar but on an instrument. Only this time I am doing it at the present stage of my artistic means.” 

March–April 2015
Kiel, Hamburg, Leipzig, Germany 

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