Varèse in Amsterdam

World premiere of Chou Wen-Chung’s arrangement of Étude pour Espace for ensemble, choir and spacialised electronics by Edgard Varèse.
When Jun 14, 2009
from 03:20 PM to 03:20 PM
Where Amsterdam
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Edgard VarèseEdgar Varèse’s Espace, conceived during the 30’s and 40’s to be broadcast in various cities throughout the world by way of a radio network, was never completed and never performed. Nonetheless, in 1947 Varèse did present Étude pour Espace for two pianos, choir and percussion, of which a recording and two versions of the score survive. Certain fragments of this work were re-elaborated by the composer in Poème électronique (1958), and it is once again on the fragments of the Étude that Varèse’s pupil and friend Chou Wen-Chung – on commission from Societé Gavignès de L’Aja - has worked, realizing an arrangement of Étude pour Espace for ensemble, choir and spacialised electronics. The world premiere of this work will be performed by the Asko Ensemble under the direction of Peter Eötvös on 14th June in the Gashouder at the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam as part of the 2009 Holland Festival. The performance forms part of a series of events in memory of the composer entitled Edgar Varèse 360°, made possible thanks to the international collaboration between the Holland Festival, Festival d’Automne in Paris, the Southbank Centre in London and the Asko Ensemble. Over the course of two evenings (13th and 14th June) an exploration will take place of the visionary aspect of Varèse’s music, in which the production will be spacialised and the music accompanied by videos and lighting design effects. The visual component has been entrusted to Garry Hill, while Pierre Audi has been engaged for the mise-en-espace. As well as the world premiere of Étude pour Espace, the programme includes Hyperprism, Octandre, Offrandes, Intégrales, Nocturnal, Arcana, Tuning Up, Un grand sommeil noir, Amériques, IonisationEcuatorial, Density 21.5, Dance for Burgess, La procession de verges and Déserts. In addition to a number of educational initiatives two special projects are being prepared: a documentary by Frank Scheffer and a theatrical work by the music theatre collective ‘Veenfabriek’.

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