Salzburg loses a premiere

The world premiere of a new work by Sofia Gubaidulina, scheduled for the Easter Festival, has been postponed.

The work, titled The Wrath of God, has been completed but the Staatskapelle Dresden and Christian Thielemann haven’t enough time to rehease it.

The premiere has been postponed to Easter 2020. Gubaidulina is 87 years old.

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  • The behind the scenes rumour is that the real reason is cost. The financing of Meistersinger is over budget and the board needed cuts.

  • Mr. Thielemann has to focus on his coming, glorious Bruckner cycle in Vienna. Moreover, and considering the composer’s previous works, the title “The Wrath of God” sounds awful – better let it to some guest conductor.

      • Thielemann’s Beethoven cycle with the VPO is wonderful (but if you like the HIP approach then you probably hate it), his Brahms cycle (Dresden) is very good (frar from Carlos Kleiber in the 4th but everybody is far from Kleiber in the 4th), and I’m waiting for the coming release of his Schumann cycle (Dresden) in a few weeks (Sony). Thielemann has recorded most of the Bruckner symphonies (the 5th in Munich, most of the others in Dresden), excellent interpretations, and now he is going to conduct all of them with the “divine” VPO. 🙂

        • I happen to like Thielemann’s work in general, including the VPO Beethoven cycle, even though I am also into HIP. But I think that his best work in Wagner and especially Richard Strauss.

          • Agreed. But curiously, he has also done a wonderful ‘Jeux’ – the late radiant and virtuosic Debussy ballet score, and beautifully so, in full understanding of the shimmering frenchness of the music. (Unfortunately no longer available on YouTube.)

  • This is rubbish. Most orchestras can play anything with a couple of days rehearsal. In the UK that’s the maximum you would get for a whole concert.

    • With works of the repertoire that everybody knows and that players can play in their sleep, that is indeed possible: they are understood in terms of expression and interpretation. With new works, that is a different matter altogether: since there is most of the time no expressive dimension to be interpreted, but only acoustical surface, getting the notes and effects at the right place is fairly quickly done, and this absence compensates for the unfamiliarity. Imagine that a symphony by, say, Brahms were discovered, a piece that nobody had ever heard, such a work would need many more rehearsels to penetrate the language and get it all right. This problem is shown with Berio’s orchestration of Brahms’ viola sonata, and the version of the sketches of Elgar III by Antony Paine, both pieces sounded not good at all at premières and needed many more perfomances to come into their own, because of this expressive and interpretative dimension. In some ways, a Carter of Boulez piece is much easier, in spite of their virtuosities (and nobody ever hears wrong notes in performances which is reassuring).

  • It may be that the postponement is part of the work, given the title, intentionally or unintentionally.

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