Out of the Shadows

Monday, 20 September 2021

'After the end of the dark Nazi era, everyone was so hungry to take in the new' - WDR celebrates 70 years of its Musik der Zeit concert series in Cologne

Pierre Boulez, Bruno Maderna, and Karlheinz Stockhausen at Musik der Zeit in Cologne
Pierre Boulez, Bruno Maderna, and Karlheinz Stockhausen at Musik der Zeit in Cologne in 1958

In October 1951, Igor Stravinsky travelled to Cologne to conduct a concert of his own music, this would be the first concert in the Musik der Zeit concert series which celebrates its 70th anniversary in Cologne this year. The Cologne of 1951 was still a city in ruins, the Hohenzollern Bridge lay destroyed in the Rhine but musical life was developing thanks to the founding of the Northwest German Broadcasting Corporation, out of which came the present WDR which still runs the Musik der Zeit concert series. 

On 2 October 2021, in the WDR Funkhaus, Cologne, Enno Poppe conducts the WDR Symphony Orchestra in a concert celebrating the 70 years of Musik der Zeit with music by Xenakis and Boulez, plus premieres of works by Klaus Ospald and Justė Janulytė. The evening continues with short, celebratory concerts at a variety of venues in Cologne, culminating at 11pm in Cologne Philharmonie with music by Ligeti, Dayia Maminova and Stockhausen.

On 3 October WDR will be broadcasting a long night-time celebration (from midnight to 6 am) of the music performed during the concert series' 70 years including Stockhausen, Zimmermann, Boulez, Nono, Xenakis and Cage, all of whom made the debuts at the Cologne Funkhaus, and alongside these new and radical young composers of the times. Ligeti came to Cologne in 1956, after the Hungarian uprising, and he remembered "After the war, after the end of the dark Nazi era, everyone was so hungry to take in the new.

Full details of at the WDR website.

2 comments:

  1. The Enno Poppe conducted concert hopefully is on 2 October 2021 not 1951...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Corrected. THough perhaps we might imagine a little time travel!

    ReplyDelete

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