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World Premiere of Ulrich Leyendecker's Guitar Concerto in Kaiserslautern

The electric guitar, with experimental playing methods including the use of the electronic bow and microtonally  re-tuned strings, have fascinated contemporary composers from all over the world. Many composers, however, also feel magically attracted by the variety of sounds and the intimacy of the acoustic guitar. The problem of writing for acoustic guitar and orchestra is that the instrument simply has difficulty making itself heard through the large orchestral part  due to its slight dynamic range. It was precisely this difficulty that stimulated the composer Ulrich Leyendecker to write a guitar concerto. This work will be given its world premiere by Maximilian Mangold and the Orchestra of the Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern directed by Uwe Sandner on 25 November 2011 in Kaiserslautern.

In order to balance the reserved dynamics of the instruments, Leyendecker orchestrated his Concerto in such a way that the guitar is always distinctly audible without requiring any additional amplification. The orchestra is almost always present, not only in the tutti sections, for example in the rapid and colourful exchange between orchestral instruments when they play a counterpoint to the guitar, or in brief successive episodes,  providing dialogue with different solo and chamber formations up to larger groups of the orchestra.

Leyendecker's guitar writing is versatile: chordal, contrapuntal, melodic-monodic, complex-virtuosic. Remarking on his style, Leyendecker has stated: "My language has developed in four decades; it integrates tonal elements into the basically atonal language so that ambivalent ways of hearing are possible, indeed even presuppose each other. One must of course note that the experience is basically up to the listener, without ideological bridges."

The Guitar Concerto was already recorded by the WDR in early September 2007, prior to its premiere, by the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie directed by Romely Pfund and the guitarist and dedicatee Maximilian Mangold.

Sofia Gubaidulina's "Fairy-Tale Poem" and Dmitri Shostakovich's "Symphony No. 10" will also be heard at the concert.

25 November 2011
Kaiserslautern
Pfalztheater, Fruchthalle, 8 PM           
World premiere: Ulrich Leyendecker
Concerto for guitar and orchestra
Maximilian Mangold (guitar)
Orchestra of the Pfalztheaters Kaiserslautern
Uwe Sandner (direction)

 

Copyright of the photo: Fruchthalle Kaiserslautern

 

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