Opinion: welcoming new music at the Vienna Phil—and elsewhere

Posted on: June 8, 2016

On Monday (6/6) at Forbes.com, Jens F. Laurson writes about the Vienna Philharmonic’s recent world premiere of “a living composer’s work [with] the ink barely dry on it. Kenotaph, by Thomas Larcher—his Second Symphony. Contemporary music really seems back on track…. Is it too soon to cry out: ‘It has arrived!’? … Yes, it probably is just a little premature, but all the signs are there! … Granted, the real sign of contemporary music having arrived back in the classical mainstream [is] never just the premiere … but rather when a new work is performed for the 5th or 12th or 48th time…. In any case, here they were: the same respectable attendees of the Musikverein that you’d find, more or less, on any other given day…. And they were listening to Kenotaph attentively…. The rhythms are catchy, the noise makes sense, the tones have perceivable sequences and the violence of it keeps you awake and the tenderness on tenterhooks…. What remains in the memory … won’t be another fine performance of [Strauss’s] war-horse Heldenleben [also on the program] but the excitement felt at witnessing Kenotaph. I can’t wait until that will be the warhorse, accompanied by a new world premiere!”

Posted June 8, 2016