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Complete Cycle “Hommage à Daniel Libeskind” by Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf

A visit during the year 2000 to the Jewish Museum in Berlin, designed by Daniel Libeskind, was a key experience for the Mannheim composer Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf and, at the same time, it triggered his confrontation with the work of this architect - a project that has lasted to the present day. Within a ten-year period (2002-2012), he wrote the three individual works (Vol. I – III) of his “Hommage à Daniel Libeskind”, which can now be heard together for the first time at a concert on 31 January 2016 at the E-Werk in Freiburg. The performers will be the ensemble SurPlus, founded in 1992, who already gave the world premiere of “Hommage à Daniel Libeskind (Volume II)” at the E-Werk in 2012.

Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf has supplied the following commentary on the composition of “Hommage à Daniel Libeskind”:
“Each person has his annual artistic experience. For me, in the year 2000, it was the Jewish Museum in Berlin by Daniel Libeskind, at that time still without exhibits and thus approachable as architecture and not as a museum. I had dreamt of such architecture since my childhood days. Inclined walls, crossbeams, asymmetrical proportions, avoidance of any allegedly classical ideas, but also the thwarting of the principle of usefulness – that’s how buildings should be: imaginative, bold, daring, unprecedented, but nonetheless strict and non-ornamental in their structure, no mannerism, so to speak, despite the anticlassicist attitude. The Jewish Museum defines a new style of its own. It is the combination of a plethora of conflicting lines in a three-dimensional space, made visible as lines in order to hint at or set up spaces, but not in order to balance surface areas.
The Ensemble recherche requested a Sextet from me in early 2001. I worked out a plan of 63 miniatures with all conceivable ensemble combinations from solo to sextet; these miniatures are distributed in three books which can be played individually or successively (in the latter case they fill about an hour). With my music, I hope to have found an equivalent to the bold expressive quality of Libeskind’s ingenious construction, to the semantics of ‘between the lines’ and to the deconstructive quality of forms.”

The complete performance on 31 January 2016 will take place during the course of the concert series “ars nova” of the SWR (with an ensuing CD production).

31 January 2016
E-Werk, Concert Hall, 8 PM
World premiere: Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf
“Hommage à Daniel Libeskind” (complete cycle)
Ensemble SurPlus


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