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World Premiere: Jan Müller-Wieland‘s New Version of “King of the Night” in Hamburg

The Hamburg-born composer Jan Müller-Wieland has been Professor of Composition at the Munich Music Academy since 2007. His long collaboration with the Burgtheater actor Klaus Maria Brandauer, who could also be seen in the renowned filming of Klaus Mann’s “Mephisto” and in two Bond films, continues to bear new fruit. Brandauer participated in the first version of Müller-Wieland's melodrama “King of the Night” – An Epiphany for Speaker, 3 Singers, Electronics and 32 Instrumentalists – composed in 2003. For this work, the composer created a free textual collage based on the Book of Job and quotations from the New Testament.

A new version of “King of the Night” as a drama for reciver, 2 sopranos, alto, large orchestra and performance electronics has been commissioned by NDR Hamburg, to be given its world premiere by Klaus Maria Brandauer, members of the Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart and the NDR Symphony Orchestra under the direction of its principal conductor, Thomas Hengelbrock, on 13 November 2014 at the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg.

Joseph Roth’s novel “Job” was also a model for the adaptation of the Book of Job from the Old Testament, as the composer has stated. Job, a steadfastly devout Jew, had to endure so much suffering that he lost his faith for a time, finding his way back to faith when he sensed hope. Müller-Wieland has commented on the impulse behind this new version of “King of the Night” as follows: “Thomas Hengelbrock thought that this material was particularly suitable for the large NDR Symphony Orchestra. That is why I have taken up the piece again. It has been considerably extended, for I feel more breath, more new territory. Thus two horns became eight horns. A bass trumpet was added, a contrabass trombone and so on. The intimate elements received more breadth and depth, and the rebelliousness more vehemence. That is the reason for the new subtitle: Drama. It is about the life drama of a human being with God.”

Further performances of “King of the Night” take place on 14 November 2014 in Lübeck (Musik- und Kongresshalle, 7:30 PM) and 16 November 2014 in Hamburg (Laeiszhalle, 11 AM).

13 November 2014
Laeiszhalle, Great Hall, 8 PM
(Introduction to the concert: 7 PM)
World premiere: Jan Müller-Wieland
“King of the Night”. Drama for reciter, two sopranos, alto, large orchestra and performance electronics
Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart: Sarah Maria Sun (soprano), Susanne Leitz-Lorey (soprano), Truike van der Poel (mezzo-soprano)
Klaus Maria Brandauer (reciter)
NDR Symphony Orchestra
Thomas Hengelbrock (direction)


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