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RUHR.2010 – Cultural Capital City of Europe: World Premiere of Jan Müller-Wieland’s “Traumbilder leichenstill” in Dortmund

Under the motto of RUHR.2010, the Ruhr metropolis of Essen and all cities and communities of the Ruhr District are being brought together to form one of this year’s Cultural Capital Cities of Europe.

On 19 May 2010 the new chamber work “Traumbilder leichenstill” for string quartet or string ensemble by Jan Müller-Wieland will receive its world premiere during the course of RUHR.2010 at the St. Reinoldi Church in Dortmund. This work was commissioned by the network project “Babel” as part of RUHR.2010. The “Traumbilder” will be played between the parts of the oratorio “Belshazzar” by Georg Friedrich Händel at the premiere by members of the orchestra of St. Reinoldi Church conducted by cantor Klaus Müller.

Jan Müller-Wieland has supplied the following commentary concerning the idea behind his piece:

“I was asked if I could imagine a kind of music to be played as interludes for Händel’s ‘Belshazzar.’ I then occupied myself intensively with the oratorio and found a wonderful compositional sign in the second act – Aria and Recitative of Belshazzar – where Belshazzar stops and realises that something could happen which would cost him his power. When I found that, I had the idea for my piece. (...)

“The music that I have composed is very slow, plain and austere, and is a variation on the place of the Händel oratorio I referred to above. All the motor rhythms and baroque sound idiom disappear here. And the two parts of my composition are also two calm sound oases, which is why I also named them ‘Traumbilder.’ I wanted to get into the sound and to make sure that the plot would come to a halt – rather like what one frequently sees in films nowadays. By focussing on the strings, the ‘Traumbilder’ should sound very intimate and close. I wanted to leave out all other instruments that would enrich the plot theatrically.”

19 May 2010
St. Reinoldi Church, 8 PM
„RUHR.2010 – Kulturhauptstadt Europas“
Church concert „Die Schrift an der Wand“
World premiere: Jan Müller-Wieland
„Traumbilder leichenstill“ for string quartet or string ensemble
(in connection with the oratorio "Belshazzar" by Georg Friedrich Händel)
Members of the Orchestra of the St. Reinoldi Church in Dortmund (Conductor: Klaus Müller)

Work commissioned by the network project "Babel" as part of the festival RUHR.2010


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