This evening the KunstFestSpiele embarks on a special experiment. Arnold Schönberg and Wolfgang Rihm meet Sarah Neufeld. Two musical worlds that are usually perceived as completely separate from one another sound consecutively in the Galerie.
In the first concert of this double evening the three excellent soloists of the Humboldt Trio play works that touch musical extremes. Arnold Schönberg’s String Trio op. 45, from 1946, is characterised by breaks and contrasts. Aggressive wildness and lyrical contemplation collide as directly as do the work’s sharp dissonances and pleasing harmonies. In its jagged expressiveness the work of the 70-year-old Schönberg seems almost improvised and takes hold of the listener directly. There is a similarly expressive energy in Wolfgang Rihm’s almost hour-long Musik für drei Streicher, from 1977. The nervously twitching rhythms of a breathlessly harried music contrasts with shimmering sound surfaces and extended melodies. The dramatically antithetic quality of this unique musical monolith also seems to border on improvisation, and recalls free jazz in its burning intensity, dynamism and exorbitant virtuosity.
With the performance by the Canadian violinist and singer Sarah Neufeld, a Feinkost Lampe concert comes to the Galerie for the first time. Neufeld, who regularly appears with indie rock bands such as Arcade Fire, takes us to the other side of the musical planet. An always somewhat husky violin, plucked or bowed, provides motivic micro-patterns, which Neufeld superimposes in the manner of minimal music and transforms with her voice. The meditative softness of her music and her etheric song develop an ecstatic power in which this evening’s two musical worlds meet.