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World Premiere and Russian Premiere of Alexander Raskatov's “Mysterium magnum”

The Stadt-Casino in Basle will be the location of the world premiere of Alexander Raskatov's new work “Mysterium magnum” for soprano, bass and large orchestra on 24 October 2012.

The work, composed in 2012, will be presented by Elena Vassilieva (soprano) and Nikolai Didenko (bass) together with the Basle Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dennis Russell Davies.

Six days later, on 30 October 2012, the same forces will perform the Russian premiere of “Mysterium magnum” at a guest appearance at the Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg.

The composer comments on “Mysterium magnum” as follows:

“I would define this work as a Symphony for two soloists (soprano and bass) and orchestra. It is based on two languages: Russian and German.
The idea of this work came to my mind when I realized that Basel was a city where – for several years – Paracelsus lived and worked, the greatest German alchemist, mystic and doctor. One of my favourite writers, Jorge Luis Borges, wrote about him a wonderful story ‘The Rose of Paracelsus’. It speaks about the mystery of creation, a wonder, which cannot be shown to anybody except those who are ‘dedicated’.
For my work I used texts of Paracelsus himself as well as texts of another great German mystic, Jakob Böhme. As for the Russian language, I was very much attracted by Osip Mandelstam. His poems are also connected with mystery - mystery of creation, mystery of word, but, firstly, mystery of silence.
Nevertheless, just some words. I tried to reach a maximum of contrast between the movements. Each text was for me the origin for different methods of orchestration and attitude to the voice. The text - and only the text - was an “Ariadne’s thread”, which influenced my intuition to write this music.
This work is commissioned by the Basel Symphony Orchestra and Culturescapes. It is dedicated to Dennis Russell Davies and the Basel Symphony Orchestra.”

Alfred Schnittke's Concerto for Viola and Orchestra will also be performed at these concerts with Yuri Bashmet as soloist.

24 October 2012
Basle
Stadt-Casino, Music Hall, 7:30 PM (Introduction to the concert: 6:30 PM with Annelis Berger, Hans Huber-Saal)
World premiere: Alexander Raskatov
“Mysterium magnum“ for soprano, bass and orchestra
Elena Vassilieva (soprano)
Nikolai Didenko (bass)
Basel Symphony Orchestra
Dennis Russell Davies (direction)

Further performance: 25 October 2012 (7:30 PM)

30 October 2012
St. Petersburg
Philharmonia, 7 PM
Russian premiere: Alexander Raskatov
”Mysterium magnum“ for soprano, bass and orchestra
Elena Vassilieva (soprano)
Nikolai Didenko (bass)
Basel Symphony Orchestra
Dennis Russell Davies (direction)

 

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