Photo: Lukasz Rajchert


Beethoven 2020 – Composition Commission issued to Georg Friedrich Haas

Basel Chamber Orchestra, Switzerland

Beethoven’s deafness was not silent. He was constantly plagued by loud noises produced by his hearing aids. Some of this is reflected in his compositions, for instance, in the chains of trills in his Waldstein Sonata. G. F. Haas sees this tinnitus as emblematic for what is currently happening in the world: the upsurge of fascism in Europe, increasing inhumanity, the inability to combat shifts in wealth from the poorest to the richest, the targeted dumbing down of the masses, the mockery of reason, the silencing of solidarity. His double concerto for violin and contra bassoon will not only include chains of trills at high frequencies but also throbbing, knocking and banging... everything will be attempted to obscure Beethoven’s art. The solo instruments – which could not feasibly be more contradictory with only a few tones in common, let alone an octave – will be juxtaposed with the orchestra. The violin as one of the oldest orchestral instruments together with the contra bassoon (perhaps the most recent orchestral addition as a substantially improved version of the double bassoon presented for the first time in 2004) are brought together by Haas in a performance with the Basel Chamber Orchestra.
The Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation is financing the composition commission.

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