Festival Ultraschall: World Performance of “Abgesang” by Marko Nikodijevic

For its 2019/20 season, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra (conductor-in-chief: Vladimir Jurowski) will be joined by Serbian composer Marko Nikodievic as composer in residence. Two premieres are planned during his tenure. On 19 January 2020, Marko Nikodijevics’s vocal symphonic work ”abgesang. A Song for Soprano and Orchestra” will receive its world premiere as part of the Ultraschall Festival performed by the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. The work is a musical rendering of a poem, an untitled work in Hungarian known as “Nr. 14 of 12 ciklus Villanásnyi öröklét, 1995" written by Mátyás Molcer, who was born in 1935 in the Serbian town of Subotica.

Commenting on ”abgesang”, Marko Nikodijevic writes:

”This work has a long history that begins with a poem by Molcer Mátyás, a Hungarian artist from my home town of Subotica. Molcer Mátyás wrote poe-try and plays, drew, painted, composed, translated poetry and also played piano. But Molcer also plays another important role in my life. He was my piano teacher in Subotica, the first teacher who carefully followed and supported my interests. Instead of the wretched technical practice, scales and other things people are tortured with in piano lessons, Molcer taught me about twelve-tone technique, cluster composition, aleatoric music, improvisation and graphic notation. It was a stoke of luck to find a teacher like that in the sleepy Serbian provinces. The poem put to music here was written in this period. With a symmetric form and haiku-esque in its concision, it conjures images of a cemetery in autumn. The year is 1995, and my former homeland of Yugoslavia is engulfed in a civil war. Some ideas exist in my head for decades before they find a final form. One of these was this poem. I can’t remember when I wrote the first sketches for this piece, but it must have been more than a decade ago. Running at al-most 19 minutes, this song for soprano and orchestra grew from an idea for a piano song.”

World Premiere
Marko Nikodijevic
“abgesang”. Song for Soprano and Orchestra
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Anna Sohn (soprano), conductor: Brad Lubman
- Ultraschall Festival -

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