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German premiere of the revised version of Gubaidulina's piano concerto “Introitus” in Leipzig

Sofia Gubaidulina has revised some parts of her frequently performed 1978 work “Introitus” for piano and chamber orchestra. The Gewandhaus Orchestra and soloist Alice Di Piazza will be giving the German premiere of this version under the baton of Michael Sanderling in Leipzig on 23 September 2020 (follow-up performances on 24 and 25 September 2020).

Together with the Italian pianist Alice Di Piazza, the composer reviewed and slightly revised the work several times between 2014 and 2016. These concerts also mark the opening of the 2020/21 season of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, in which Sofia Gubaidulina is being presented as a Gewandhaus composer.

The piano concerto, written more than forty years ago, is remarkable for in its instrumentation of only a few winds and a string orchestra, as well as for its formal structure, Gubaidulina makes reference to traditional forms such as the baroque concerto grosso. Indeed, solo couplings alternate with tutti ritornelles as in baroque models. But the classical piano concerto with its thematic dualism and three-movement arrangement also leaves its mark.

In the May 2002 issue of the music magazine "Musiktexte" 93, Ralf Nonnenmacher presented a very readable analysis of the work in his article "Musica contemplativa". Among other things he wrote the following: “(...) This partly baroque, partly classical arrangement gives Gubaidulina an extra-musical-religious dimension, which the title refers to as 'Introitus'. In accordance with the solemn entry of the priests and altar boys to Mass, she arranges her piano concerto as man's entry into a sound space that unfolds in four stages, to which she assigns certain religious stages. The composition becomes a kind of service with purely instrumental means (...).” 

DE Sofia Gubaidulina, 
“Introitus” Concerto for piano and chamber orchestra (revised version)  
(Alice Di Piazza, piano Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, conductor: Michael Sanderling) 

photo: © Marco Borggreve

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