Photo: Ensemble Aventure


Alan Hilario – Schöner Göttfunken!

Ensemble Aventure, Freiburg, Germany

The musicians at Ensemble Aventure are working together with the composer Alan Hilario to perform two works for small ensemble and new media in the form of live electronics and video feeds inspired by Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. This exploration largely focuses on the idea of utopia juxtaposed with present-day realities, with the intense emotional power of Beethoven’s music thereby impacting and setting the gauge for musical events in Hilario’s new works.

The program made possible by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation features the repeat performance of Alan Hilario’s pocket mini opera Schöner Götterfunken! Bilder einer Ausstellung einer Ausstellung. This piece of musical theater presents a comparison of the period around 1850 to the 1930s – when going to “human zoos” was a normal leisure activity – with the years when the work arose around 2006. The premiere of the second half is to be understood as a continuation of Schöner Götterfunken!. The sociopolitical dimensions have changed so massively that a new interpretation of Beethoven’s utopia and the present day makes sense. In Germany one party sits in the Bundestag whose racial cultural perspectives have rolled back society’s psychological barrier for discriminatory, self-serving and violent behavior. In Europe populists who are now in government are spreading their hateful tirades against migrants while a President is in power in the US whose sympathy for “white supremacy” cannot be denied. Yet remaining silent now also means a passivity that allows the evil to seep through. So what better way to resist in the loudest of terms than through music? Beethoven led the way here.

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