in vain

Georg Friedrich Haas

2023/24 Immersive Sounds Konzert
Photo: Harald Hoffmann

„in vain" for 24 instruments

“One of the first already recognized masterpieces of the 21st century,” was Sir Simon Rattle’s verdict on the hour-long ensemble work “in vain” by Georg Friedrich Haas, who is Capell composer of the Staatskapelle Dresden in the current season. Written as a reaction to the new right-wing government policies in Austria at the turn of the millennium, the work is a study in musical contrasts: Chromatic runs that seem to spiral breathlessly upward are juxtaposed with sections in which the hall lights are completely extinguished and floating microtonal spectrums of sound envelop the listener.

The work was first performed in Dresden in 2007 by the Austrian Ensemble for New Music at the Festspielhaus Hellerau as part of the 21st Dresden Contemporary Music Days (DTzM). After “Music for 18 Musicians” by Steve Reich was again on the program at DTzM in 2023 after 2011, another central work of recent music history, “in vain,” will now be presented again in Hellerau as part of DTzM’s archive project.

Conductor: Jonathan Stockhammer

A special concert of the Staatskapelle Dresden in cooperation with HELLERAU European Center for the Arts