The theme of the Time of Music 2019 edition is “The Grammar of Light”. The theme dwells on themes linked in music to light and its metaphysic and existential layers bordering on the sacred and mystic, themes that have been of importance since the beginning of resident composer and teacher Kaija Saariaho’s career. This theme is equally central to another composer sharing the main initials, Karlheinz Stockhausen who´s later production is seldom heard in Finland.
Stockhausen meets Saariaho in the opening concert
During the first part of the opening concert on 2nd of July “Signals and Sequences” we hear violinist Aliisa Neige Barrière perform Bach´s spiritually powerful Chaconne from the D minor Partita II, the famous Tombeau piece that Kaija Saariaho’s large piece for violin and electronics Frises is a reflection on. Frises (Friezes) is performed for the first time in its entirety in Finland after the chaconne. During the second half, we hear for the first time in Finland Karlheinz Stockhausen´s two different pieces performed simultaneously, the overwhelming Oktophonie (1991) and Signale zur Invasion (1992). Both pieces are part of the second act – the cosmic battle between Michael and Lucifer – of Dienstag aus Licht, from Stockhausen’s monumental 7-day opera cycle Licht. Trombonist Thomas Moore plays and walks a parcours amongst the audience while the walls becomes the stage for video artist Klaas van Verpoest’s liquid visuals.
Two new staged versions of Saariaho’s gems presented in Viitasaari
On Saturday 6th the festival presents in the “The Heart of Darkness” concert for the first time in Finland French collective La Chambre aux échos’ reworking of Saariaho´s violin concerto for Graal Théâtre for violinist, actor and videos based on Aleksi Barrière’s libretto. Norwegian Peter Herresthal joins as a violinist, Thomas Kellner acts, as ensemble we hear Uusinta Ensemble, and Christian Karlsen conducts. The concert starts with a real Saariaho gem: the audience has a chance to experience for the first time since 1981 a new workshop version of Saariaho´s first piece for music theatre Study for Life based on T.S. Eliot’s iconic The Hollow Men for soprano, actor, electronics and lights, staged by Aleksi Barrière. The piece is sung by Tuuli Lindeberg. The concert is complemented with Serbian–Swedish Djuro Zivkovic´s piece On the Guarding of the Heart, the 2014 winner of Grawemayer Award for Music Composition.
The detailed concert programme will be published in May.