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Alfred Schnittke’s Oratorio “Nagasaki” Given American Premiere

Alfred Schnittke’s oratorio “Nagasaki”, composed in 1958, stands at the beginning of the composer's oeuvre. The work is based on poems by Russian and Japanese poets who come to terms with the war as a central theme.

On 10 December 2014 the mezzo sopranist Sara Murphy will perform the American premiere of Schnittke’s oratorio together with the Bard Festival Chorale (sung in Russian) and the American Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Leon Botstein during the course of the event “Requiem for the 20th Century” at the Carnegie Hall of New York.

“Nagasaki” was vehemently criticised in Russia due to its expressionistic and modernistic attitude. In accordance with Schnittke’s wish, the work was neither performed nor published during his lifetime. It was only in late 2006 (23 November) that the world premiere was given during the course of the First International Summer Festival in Cape Town by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Owain Arwel Hughes.

10 December 2014
New York
Carnegie Hall, 8 PM
American premiere: Alfred Schnittke
“Nagasaki”. Oratorio for mezzo soprano, choir and orchestra
Sara Murphy (mezzo soprano)
Bard Festival Chorale
American Symphony Orchestra
Leon Botstein (direction)


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