Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and Stefan Asbury

Orchestra Concert | Gérard Grisey I

Friday, 16 March 2018 | Herkulessaal of the Residency | 8.00 pm

Introduction: 6.45 pm


Stefan Asbury. Photo: Astrid Ackermann

Gérard Grisey [1946–1998]

Les Espaces Acoustiques [1974–85]
for orchestra

I. Prologue
for solo viola

II. Périodes
for 7 instrumentalists

III. Partiels
for 18 instrumentalists

IV. Modulations
for 33 instrumentalists

V. Transitoires
for large orchestra

VI. Épilogue
for four horns and large orchestra


Benedict Hames, viola
Francois Bastian, Thomas Ruh, Ursula Kepser, Norbert Dausacker – Horn
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Stefan Asbury, conductor

Tickets online

About the Programme

“Compose with sounds, not notes” (ne plus composer avec des notes, mais avec des sons) and “do justice to the relativity of our hearing” (tenir compte de la relativité de notre perception auditive): these are only two of the five demands that Gérard Grisey placed on composing – a vision that he probably came closest to realising in his concert-length “Les Espaces acoustiques”. He also recommended how to listen to it: the melody in the first section, “Prologue”, should not be perceived in terms of its component pitches but “according to its shape, the form of the melodic curve”.

The monumental “Les Espaces acoustiques”, a seminal work of French Spectralism, consists of six separate sections composed between 1974 and 1985. The sections were commissioned separately by such diverse musical institutions as L’Itinéraire, Ensemble Intercontemporain, the Sicilian Symphony Orchestra, the French Ministry of Culture and the Venice Biennale. Nonetheless, Grisey created a coherent cycle in which each work expands and magnifies the sonic space of its predecessor. The instrumentation ranges from a solo viola with a sort of signature tune in “Prologue” to a full orchestra with four solo horns in the final section, “Épilogue”. The demanding solo parts will all be taken from the ranks of the Bavarian RSO, conducted by Stefan Asbury.

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