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World Premiere in the USA: “Requiem for Icarus” by Lera Auerbach

Lera Auerbach has already composed a “Russian Requiem” which received its Latvian premiere with the Latvian State Choir on 22 August 2009 in Riga and its Estonian premiere with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra on 23 August 2009 in Tallinn. In this vocal work, Auerbach combines Orthodox liturgical texts and prayers with poetry of Russian poets including Pushkin, Mandelstam and Blok. The world premiere of her “Requiem for Icarus” will be given on 18 February 2010 in Washington (USA) with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of James Gaffigan. This is the final movement of her Symphony No. 1 “Chimera.” The Icarus myth has always continued to occupy occidental art, time and again. It tells of the exuberance of the boy Icarus, the son of Daedalus, who made artificial wings, attaching them to his body with wax. Flying high up in the air, he felt akin to a god and continued to rise ever higher in the direction of the sun, when the wax began to melt and he abruptly crashed into the sea. Since self-limitation and reverence before a higher power also belong to the essence of Christianity, Auerbach combines the idea of the requiem with that of the ancient saga figure.

Washington (USA)
Kennedy Center (Concert Hall), 7 PM
World Premiere: Lera Auerbach,
“Requiem for Icarus” for Orchestra
National Symphony Orchestra
cond.: James Gaffigan


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