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Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra performs World Premiere of Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf’s “void – kol ischa asirit”

The one-day SWR festival “attacca” will be held this year on 24 November 2012. During the course of this festival for New Music, the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra directed by Rupert Huber will give the world premiere of the new orchestral work “void – kol ischa asirit” by Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf.

The “void” cycle of Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf contains two orchestral works, among others. The work “void – kol ischa asirit” is the second of these. It lasts exactly ten minutes and consists of a single rhythmic motif: ten identical impulses, a motif that appears exactly one hundred times in various speeds and orchestrations (timbre, harmonies, dynamics, playing techniques) and is dramaturgically distributed over the entire length. These are to be played absolutely unsentimentally, almost mechanically, explains Mahnkopf. “The slowest rhythm consists of ten extremely strong orchestral tutti blows”, the composer continues, “that begin in the first minute and the ninth of which offers a surprise: it sets off an orchestral wave in fortissimo lasting fifty seconds, rolling forward to the tenth blow that almost closes the work (only smaller echoes are sounded thereafter).” The title (German: void – every tenth woman) refers to a decimation scene in the women's block in Auschwitz which was reported by the survivor Stella Müller-Madej, then a very young Schindler Jewess. She stood in the row, separated from her mother when the woman next to her pushed her to her place in order to save herself; she miscalculated, however, and was singled out by an SS man for execution. Stella survived thanks to a miscount.

24 November 2012
Festival attacca, Theaterhaus, 4 PM
World premiere: Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf
“void – kol ischa asirit“ for orchestra
SWR Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Rupert Huber (direction)


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