"Learned men and books may be more useful as to ancient music, but it is only living musicians that can explain what living music is"
Charles Burney (1726 - 1814)

Welcome, or welcome back to our season of Premieres. The year 2010 marks the 250th anniversary of Christoph Graupner's death in 1760. Although Graupner was a successful and prolific composer in his time, his works are now largely forgotten. Perhaps ironic, when he was the favourite candidate for a job vacancy in Leipzig that was eventually filled by a certain "mediocre" J.S. Bach. The pieces by Graupner that you will hear this season have been transcribed from original manuscripts and are being performed for the first time since they were carefully filed away in the mid 18th century.
Alongside works by J.S. Bach and J.S. Endler, a schoolmate of Graupner at the Thomasschule in Leipzig and colleague in Darmstadt, you will also be treated to the hippest HIP (Historically Informed Performance) around: new pieces (and a new arrangement) by living composers. HERE you can find out a little more about them.

PIC of Silvan

This month: Swiss prodigy, Silvan Loher, who has just graduated from the Hochschule für Musik, Basel. He studied with Georg Friedrich Haas and is now on the Masters' course with Jakob Ullmann. Being in such close proximity to the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Silvan has taken a great interest in HIP and rarely-played instruments, which has led to intensive collaborations with interpreters of Early Music. He has already composed several pieces for "older" instruments, which is how he came to our attention, and was delighted to write something new for us when we asked him.

     ...you will be treated to the hippest HIP around

Durch Kahle Birken is scored for solo soprano, alto and bass singers, flute, oboe d'amore, oboe di selva, bassoon, two violins, two violas, cello and contrabass. The symbolically poignant use of two violas is reminiscent of Bach's Weimar cantatas, which utilise five-part string consort writing from the 16th-17th century traditions. The omission of continuo instruments with fixed tuning, such as organ, harpsichord or lute is a conscious decision.

Silvan writes: "Since the theme of one of the Bach cantatas in the programme is the biblical story in which someone is broadcasting seeds - a quarter of the seeds fall on the road; a quarter on the stones; a quarter on the thorns and only one quarter on the field -, I chose four excerpts from poems by Georg Trakl (1887 - 1914) - one about a road; one about stones; one about thorns and one about a field - and to set them to music (for solo singers, not choir).
In between the poems are (free) arrangements, mainly for the woodwinds, of the chorale, "Durch Adams fall ist ganz verderbt" - the first as a chorale; the second as a ricercare and the third as a short flute melisma.
The overall concept of the piece is a kaleidoscope that views the main topics, especially death, from a myriad of perspectives. The four poems, connected by three choral settings are all musically linked."
You can learn more about Silvan on his WEBSITE

Mike Diprose
January 2010


J.S. Bach
Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin, BWV 144

Chr. Graupner
Viel sind berufen, aber wenig sind auserwehlet, GWV 1117/13

Silvan Loher
Nieuwe, voor De Swaen geschreven compositie

J.S. Bach
Leichtgesinnte Flattergeister, BWV 181

Fri 29th, Sat 30th and Sun 31st January 2010 in Utrecht, Hilversum and Amsterdam