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Anne-Sophie Mutter plays Sofia Gubaidulina’s Violin Concerto „In tempus praesens“

The main event of the 2007 Lucerne Festival will be the world premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina’s Violin Concerto “In tempus praesens” with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Berlin Philharmonic under Simon Rattle on 30 August in Lucerne. On 27 October, Anne-Sophie Mutter will perform the British premiere in London with the London Symphony Orchestra under André Previn. The French premiere with the same soloist will follow on 16 February 2008 in Paris with the Orchestre National de France under Kurt Mazur.

The Concerto “In tempus praesens,” commissioned by the Paul Sacher Foundation is Sofia Gubaidulina’s second violin concerto after the great Violin Concerto “Offertorium” of 1980, played by Gidon Kremer all over the world, a work which can already be designated as a repertory work of contemporary music. Before Gubaidulina begins composing, she allows the impulse for a work to mature for a long time, conceiving it within the context of her religious-philosophical world-view. This was also the case with the Violin Concerto “In tempus praesens.” Various phenomena play a special role for Gubaidulina in this work. First of all, the numbers three and one are of central importance to her, derived from the sacred trinity. “But this ‘one’ carries an infinite, multidimensional world within itself, as well as an infinite number of characteristics,” the composer explains. Thus the large unison at the transition from the fourth to the fifth part of the work – for Gubaidulina a metaphor for the present (“tempus praesens”) – simultaneously stands for variety in unity.

In addition to this, there is the concept of “Sophia” - taken from her world-famous soloist’s Christian name and almost identical to her own Christian name – which Gubaidulina does not only wish to interpret as divine wisdom, but also as God’s creative energy. As she further explains, Sofia Gubaidulina refers to the “double vector of Sophia” in the form, conception and structure of the five-part work.

Anne-Sophie Mutter’s commitment to contemporary music has attracted much attention in recent years. Amongst the violin concertos frequently played by her are compositions by Witold Lutoslawski, Krzysztof Penderecki and André Previn.

30 August 2007, Lucerne, world premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina’s “In tempus praesens:” Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (Anne-Sophie Mutter, Berlin Philharmonic, cond. Simon Rattle)