Composition Commission issued to Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf: Con Luigi Nono

Contrechamps, Geneva, Switzerland


At the concert Portraits croisés two pieces of work by Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf will be performed: one piece for chamber orchestra (Kammersymphonie / 1993–94) and one commissioned composition entitled Con Luigi Nono for string trio that is being supported by the EvS Music Foundation. In addition, Gustav Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder in the Rainer Riehn version for chamber orchestra is also to be performed.

Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf’s music displays several similarities with that of Gustav Mahler: alternating between affirmative, vehement, parodizing and introspective it hides behind the complexity of its notation an extraordinary poetic vision. Commenting on his new work Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf says: “Homages to me are works that relate to a particular figure in the field of art, music, architecture and philosophy. In each of these pieces of work I attempt to direct my musical style in a direction that is immediately linked to the mind, aesthetics and work of this figure. This new work is my response to Luigi Nono’s famous string quartet. In my homage I try to adopt Nono’s method of working with that string quartet I studied in the Luigi Nono Archive in Venice – i.e. I try not to compose the way I normally do by designing a formal plan that I fill with content. By contrast here I proceed in a radically inductive manner, composing individual fragments, developing them over a certain amount of time and only slotting them together for the final result.”


May 16, 2017
Studio Ernest-Ansermet, Geneva


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