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100th birthday of Paul Celan - works by Peter Ruzicka and Jan Müller-Wieland

On 23 November 2020 we are to commemorate the 100th birthday of Paul Celan. The poet, who took his own life fifty years ago on 20 April 1970 in Paris, developed an extraordinary lyrical language. He wrote poems that include, as it were, silence, which have almost no literal consistency. In many of the works in our catalogues, texts by Paul Celan have been set to music or the poet himself forms the background for a musical drama. 

In the opera CELAN by Peter Ruzicka, for instance, the poet and his work take centre stage. But Peter Ruzicka was also involved in ... DER DIE GESÄNGE ZERSCHLUG with Celan. The last poems before Celan’s suicide in the Seine are magical-hieroglyphic texts, cipher-like images, signs which - as Ruzicka puts it - can only be located on the verge of silence. Moreover, Ruzicka continues, they are “imperious in their hermetic, corresponding loneliness!”

Jan Müller-Wieland, who now teaches composition at the Munich Academy of Music, also explored work by Paul Celan in his Berlin Christmas carol. This is a seven-minute setting of the poem “Du liegst im großen Gelausche”.

Works related to Paul Celan:

Jan Müller-Wieland:
Berliner Weihnachtslied (Christmas Carol) for soprano and piano

Peter Ruzicka: 
CELAN-SYMPHONIE for orchestra
... DER DIE GESGESCHLUG for baritone and chamber ensemble
... INSELN, RANDLOS ...for violin, chamber choir and orchestra
TODESFUGE. Scene for alto, chamber ensemble, speaker and tape

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