One of the world’s leading contemporary music groups London Sinfonietta brings to Viitasaari Hans Werner Henze’s masterpiece Voices to be heard for the first time in Finland. The large song cycle will be performed as a set of two concerts on 4th-5th of July. The theme of the Time of Music festival 2023, “Voices & Spaces”, is also connected to contemporary and socially aware new voices and questions, six world premieres which will be heard in between Henze’s songs during the two concerts.
It is already 30 years since London Sinfonietta performed in Finland. Henze’s Voices is an iconic piece of contemporary music that was premiered by London Sinfonietta in 1974. The soloists of the piece are mezzo-soprano Carina Vinke and tenor Peter Tantsits, and the concerts will be conducted by Christian Karlsen. The concerts will be held at Viitasaari Areena on Tuesday 4th of July and on Wednesday 5th of July.
Voices is a 22-part song cycle which includes texts of writers such as Bertolt Brecht, Heinrich Heine, Ho-Chi Minh and several Cuban and Afro American poets. The songs have a strong social content, and they deal with many permanently valid themes, such as oppression and alienation. The multilingual piece includes songs in German, English, Spanish and Italian. The variety of instruments is also exceptionally wide: London Sinfonietta’s musicians will play as many as 70 different instruments, from flutes to banjos and accordions, and the piece also involves electronics.
Henze’s work will be commented by six new premieres, whose composers are American Tyshawn Sorey, also known as a multi-instrumentalist, Ukrainian Anna Korsun, British-Rwandan Auclair, Swiss-Nigerian Charles Uzor, Finnish Riikka Talvitie and British Mariam Rezaei. The premieres will be performed between parts of Voices, and their topics also relate to current social issues. The comissioned works are a part of the Creative Europe-supported Sounds Now project and they have been commissioned in collaboration with the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. London Sinfonietta will perform them later at Huddersfield and London’s South Bank Centre.
The first part of the Voices project will be heard in the 21st Century Voices I concert at Viitasaari Areena on Tuesday 4th of July at 7 p.m. Before the concert a seminar will be organized at the Viitasaari town hall with visiting speakers including e.g. Riikka Talvitie and Marita Muukkonen, founder of the Artists at Risk organization. The second part of Voices will be performed at Areena on Wednesday 5th of July at 7 p.m.
The Time of Music festival takes place in Viitasaari from 4th to 9th of July. This summer is the 41st edition of the annually held contemporary music festival. Contrary to some prior information, the festival ends already on Sunday 9th of July. The entire program will be published in the following newsletters, and ticket sales will open at the turn of May-June.
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