The idea that even what we are familiar with was once unfamiliar and that every tradition had to start somewhere may well be self-evident. This is particularly apparent in classical music. And that is why twentieth-century music inevitably shows up alongside symphonies by Anton Bruckner in the current season programme. Among them is the Ninth, which the Wiener Symphoniker premiered some time ago. In recent years, the orchestra has revisited its traditional commitment to new music and has regularly integrated new works into its programmes, be it at the Bregenz Festival, the Wiener Konzerthaus or the Musikverein.
Some works have already become new music classics. And when Bruckner’s music goes head to head with these great contemporary orchestral works, the public can experience Bruckner in an entirely new and different way. So it is particularly in concerts such as these that new music has taken on an equally important role to that of more established works.
Accordingly, the programme features three works which are characterised by special, sensuous sounds and original, new treatment of tone colour that were unheard of at the time of their origin. In terms of content, one can draw certain parallels between Gyorgy Kurtag’s lengthy funeral music, Stele, and Bruckner’s Seventh. In Konx-Om- Pax by Giacinto Scelsi, this magiciancomposer listened into the inner qualities of individual notes. Finally, Gyorgy Ligeti’s legendary micropolyphonic work, Lontano, which became famous as film music in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. One could almost imagine that Lontano was written especially for this film — but that is not the case at all.