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Komponist im Chor und'als Solist
Viel Beifall für Chor ,vox humana" und Gregers Brinch in der Johanniskirche in Hitzacker
Aufn.: R. Schaate

Es ist einer dieser Wünsche, die nie in Erfüllung gehen: einmal mit dem Komponisten des Stückes sprechen zu können, um zu erfahren, wie diese Stelle gemeint oder ob jene Passage richtig erfasst worden ist. Die Mitglieder des Chors ,,vox humana Hitzacker" und eines Projektorchesters hatten in Vorbereitung des Konzertes in der St.-Johannis-Kirche in Hitzacker bestimmt Gelegenheit dazu. Schließlich gesellte sich in Gregers Brinch der Komponist der weitaus meisten Stücke zu ihnen. Der offen wirkende Däne, noch keine 50 fahre alt, dirigierte nicht nur einen Teil des Programms und bestritt zusammen mit Gabriele Wiethe (Violine) den Solistenpart als Bariton, sondern er reihte sich auch in den Chor ein, wenn Christoph Quadflieg die Leitung übernahm. Den Besucherinnen und Besuchern bot sich dann auch ein Gregers-Brinch-Nachmittag dar.
Vier bekannte Bach-Choräle waren die Zugeständnisse an die Hörgewohnheiten bei Chorkonzerten. Sonst bekamen die Anwesenden
einen Blick in die Schaffensbreite des zurzeit in
Deutschland lebenden I(ünstlers. ,,Heart in wonder" war das Konzerts in der Johanniskirche in Hitzacker. Konzert überschrieben. Ein acapella-Stück gleichen Namens lieferte den Einstieg. Gesummte Töne nach Art der Taiz6-Lieder liefen durch die Stimmen und gingen in einen üblichen vierstimmigen Satz über. Bei seiner Beschäftigung mit der Kirchenmusik hat sich Gregers Brinch auch mit frühen Werken dieser Gattung auseinandergesetzt. Die fast 30 Sänger und Sängerinnen des Chors überzeugten auch mit Gregorianik. Der alte Johannes-Hymnus ,,ut queant laxis" des Langobarden Paulus Diaconus, ein Zeitgenosse Karls des Großen, durchströmte die Kirche sowohl in dem Original als auch in einer Version von Brinch. Danach eines der eindrücklichsten Stücke in Hitzacker: ,,Ubi caritas" für Chor und Orchester geht auf eine liturgische Melodie aus dem neunten Jahrhundert zurück. Insgesamt drei Fassungen, die eine intensive Beschäftigung mit den Ursprüngen der europäischen Musik verraten, erklangen im Verlaufe des Nachmittags. Gregers Brinch gelingt ein spannender Zusammenklang von archaischen und modernen Elementen. Der Chor bietet klangschön immer wieder das älte Motiv auf, während das solistisch besetzte Orchester in instrumentalen Zwischenspielen für die moderner Querstände sorgt. Doch auch in diesen Teilen bricht, meist gespielt vom Horn, das schöne, alte Motiv durch. Aus Brinchs Werk erklangen des weiteren l(unstlieder, wie die ,,Lieder für Bariton und Geige nach Texten von Rilke" und ,,Der letzte Tagebucheintrag von Dag Hammarskjöld", als auch Chorsätze aus Volksmusiken. Alles Gehörte lässt den Schluss zu, dass Gregers Brinch keinen Stil bevorzugt. In ausdrucksstarken Werken bedient er sich gerne irn Repertoire der Moderne, verzichtet aber zugunsten des Wohlklanges oft auf deren schräg klingende Stilmittel. Der Chor und die instrumentalisten boten ein intonationssicheres Zusammenspiel und vermittelten Freude an der Musik. Das Publikum in der |ohanniskirche zeigten ihr Gefallen an den Darbietungen mit Beifall zwischen den Stücken und einem lang anhaltenden Schlussapplaus.

A psychological rollercoaster

WELL RECEIVED: Atelier Community Theatre's production of Peer Gynt

WELL RECEIVED: Atelier Community Theatre's production of Peer Gynt

Review of Atelier Community Theatre's production of Peer Gynt by Melvyn Walmsley at East Grinstead's Chequer Mead theatre

DIRECTOR Vasile Nedelcu's outstanding production of Peer Gynt riveted Chequer Mead until, at 11pm, it clamoured for more of the colour, farce and satire of this psychological rollercoaster.

Wisely, Vasile avoided Grieg's incidental music, which Henrik Ibsen commissioned and tolerated to get his play staged in the first place.

Instead, remarkably, Gregers Brinch was not only a livelier, more rounded Peer than even Derek Jacobi's 1982 portrayal of the lovable fantasist, he also provided his own appropriate mood music (with intermittent choral chanting – 'Peer, you're a liar!') and fine singing.Ibsen's visual artistry shone through Angie Brett and Sally Reeves' simple, effective set and costumes and Mike Watson's lighting.

The clear focus – elevating this above several professional productions – was on Peer's search for himself: personal striving for freedom versus trusting to God.

Swirling mists and uniformly fine casting and acting presented the other characters in 3D and as projections of Peer's consciousness.

Added value came from Heather Goodwin's puppets and Christopher Fry's earthy translation. Are we ourselves and free, or manipulated?



Image: sussex_set


Atelier Community Theatre's production of Peer Gynt. Photographs by Robert Piwko/Atelier Community TheatreAtelier Community Theatre's production of Peer Gynt. Photographs by Robert Piwko/Atelier Community Theatre



Atelier Community Theatre's production of Peer Gynt. Photograph by Robert Piwko/Atelier Community Theatre

Peer Gynt, Chequer Mead

Atelier Community Theatre's director Vasile Nedelcu's outstanding production of Peer Gynt riveted Chequer Mead till, at 11pm, it clamoured for more of the colour, farce, satire and psychological/spiritual roller-coasting that the reputedly austere, crusading Norwegian injected into his futuristic poetic drama in 1867.

Wisely, Vasile avoided Grieg's incidental music, which Ibsen commissioned and tolerated to get his play staged.

Instead, remarkably, Gregers Brinch was not only a livelier, more rounded Peer than even Derek Jacobi's 1982 portrayal of the lovable fantasist; he also provided his own appropriate mood music (with intermittent choral chanting – 'Peer, you're a liar!') and fine singing.

Ibsen's visual artistry shone through Angie Brett and Sally Reeves' simple, effective set and costumes and Mike Watson's lighting: green for supernatural and psychological eeriness, gold for life-affirming, positive choice and wholesomeness. Peer is shown at his generous best sleigh-riding his mother Aase (Annette Armstrong) on her deathbed and then possibly redeemed at the end in his beloved Solveig's arms (Ionela Hanganu). Or did blue-green light on Duncan Mackintosh's sinister yet likeable Button Moulder signify Peer's meltdown for Divine recycling? Rightly, Vasile left us guessing.

The clear focus - elevating this above several professional productions – was on Peer's search for himself: personal striving for freedom versus trusting to God. Swirling mists and uniformly fine casting and acting presented the other characters in 3D and as projections of Peer's consciousness. Hence the bride-stealing, troll kingdom, ship-sinking and seduction scenes amused and challenged us.

Added value came from Heather Goodwin's puppets and Christopher Fry's earthy translation. Are we ourselves and free, or manipulated? Neither David Brett's sardonic troll king nor Emily and Flora Smith's sly seductresses ever fully controlled Peer. Only Ibsen ruled OK



REVIEWS of HARMONIOUS DISSONANCE

www.navonarecords.com

babysue: Comics, Poems, and Reviews
August, 2010
Various Artists, Harmonious Dissonance (Navona)
We've always been suckers for classical music presented by small groups...mainly because it forces the listener to focus on specific instruments rather than being bombarded by the strength of an entire orchestra. Harmonious Dissonance features two solo works (Gregory Hall's "5 variations on Ongiara" and David Froom's "Sonata for Violin Solo"), a quartet (Gregers Brinch's "String Quartet No. 1"), and a quintet (Allen Brings' "Quintet for Clarinet and Strings"). This impeccably recorded album features over an hour's worth of music...and it's all more than worth your while. The folks at Navona are up-and-running...everything we've heard thus far from the label has been exceptional...

2010-07-22: Brinch/Hall/Froom/Brings, Bilotta/Gaines, Merzbow, Klimperei, Frith/Lussier, Soft Machine
July 22, 2010
by Francois Couture

Four works for strings (a quartet, a quintet, a violin sonata, and a quintet for clarinet and strings). Beautiful music, strong music, and another splendid production from Navona Records. Worth mentioning is Gregers Brinch’s “String Quartet No. 1” performed by a quartet led by Navona’s favorite conductor Vit Muzik - splendid composition rooted in New Complexity. Sadly, Allen Brings’s “Quintet for Clarinet and Strings” is too cerebral for its own good. Still, a fine program. The other two composers are Gregory Hall and David Froom. The CD includes a CD-Rom section with virtual booklet, scores (always nice to be able to follow along), and ringtones(!).

Harmonious Dissonance

Brinch, Brings, Froom, Hall Curtis Macomber, Vit Muzik, Igor Kopyt, Michal Mares, Antonin Hradil, Vit Polaskek: v; Pavel Hana, Evzenie Brezinova, va; Marian Pavlik, Yan Polaskova, vc; Pavel Harnos, db; Ales Janacek, cl
Navona 5830—61 minutes
Gregers Brinch’s String Quartet 1 is an odd and interesting mix of humor and earnest counterpoint,
though the humor comes across better in the writing than in the playing—I had to imagine it into place. I sounds like a spoof of Holy Minimalism sometimes and has some good musical ideas of its own; III drags the
piece down some—by this point there has not been enough variety. IV, quicker, is a nice way
to end. The performers are stylistically unpolished— phrasing and details are not good enough, though their intonation and ensemble are usually fine; their sound here is too bright—not grating, but uncomfortably bright.
Hall’s Variations on Ongiara is next, 13 nasalsounding minutes (the recording’s fault) of music that is often ethereal, usually thoughtful, sometimes impious, never bloated; this is excellent music. (Then again, I’ll take a little nasality over the sound of the previous piece.) Allen Brings’s Clarinet Quintet is dissonant
and serious, and much better-played than the other chamber pieces. I wish this different group of musicians had recorded the Hall and Brinch—their sound is far more appealing and their approach to the music more caring. II,‘Intimo’, has a straightforward elegance to it and is my favorite of the three movements. David Froom’s Sonata for Violin Solo has four movements: ‘Like an Icy Wind’, ‘Lurching Violently, Boisterous’, ‘Elegiac’, and ‘Fast and Furious’. Macomber plays the whole piece quite well. ‘Icy Wind’ is curiously soft in volume except for a brief burst, almost as if you’re hearing it through a closed window. ‘Lurching’ opens with some writing very appropriate to the name, but after 45 seconds a calmer contrasting section appears; I’d like to thank the composer for not brutalizing my ears the entire movement, as many would have done.

American Record Guide

 

 

Gregers Brinch has among other works composed a number of works for choir a cappella and choir with strings which I in my capacity as a conductor have become familiar with. It has been very interesting to work with Gregers Brinch's music, not least as he because pursues different aims of composition than the trend within Danish musical life. Among other things Gregers Brinch combines different compositional styles - modern tone language and gospel - and reaches an organic fusion, which is at the same time future oriented, believable and expressive. It will be exciting to follow the works coming from the hand of GregersBrinch in the future.

JakobLorentzen www.kobus.dk Organist, Composer, Director of The Choir of the Royal Naval Church, Copenhagen



On the Music of Gregers Brinch

The Music of Gregers Brinch that we happened to listen to is very attractive. It is fresh and inventive, and of course very spiritual not only on the surface, but also in deep inside. It also reflects a happy, radiant, and friendly character of the composer as a person. He is very prolific and full of ideas that we hope will flourish.

Elena Firsova & Dmitri Smirnov

composers

Worldpremiere:

"Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights"

A Composition by Gregers Brinch

On the 4th of May 2002 a workshop seminar was held in Bochumn, Germany on the theme "Terror and Human Dignity". It was held under the auspices of the Arbeitzentrum Nordrhein-Westfalen. A central role was played by the premiere of a piece of music "Die Herausforderung" ("The Challenge") composed for Tenor, Choir, Piano and Violin, to the text of the "Preamble to the universal declaraton of Human Rights" in a new version written by Rainer Schnurre.

Schnurre has engendered a great deal of interest and will hopefully continue to do so through his work with the wide ranging inititative: Artists for Human RightsIn this preamble he found such a close relation to Rudolf Steiners' ideas concerning the Threefold Social Order tand he wanted to rework the Preamble in the spirit of these ideas. Through the connection of the singer Christoph Quadflieg, the preamble came into the hands of the Danish composer Gregers Brinch..

The composer took on the task and in a short time a work of high quality was created. This must be honoured all the more, because any person with an aesthetic sense would recoil at the thought of creating music to enhance such a sober, legalistic text. Many are the temptations: either to fall prey to cliché or to have words and music so in opposition that they cancel each other out.

Here the work of Gregers Brinch has achieved a comprehensive success. On hearing the piece for the first time a sceptical anticipation was turned into a moving experience. Concepts that deal with human responsibilty and interdependance were handled and shaped with such genius that the merely abstract cloak of the topic was put aside and the identity of word, concept and idea was engendered in the soul.

Imagine singing words such as individuality, freehood, rights, law, not only so that they sound pleasing, but also that concept and idea are given utterance through the sound. Not in a way that a merely dreamy idealised atmosphere is created, but so that clear day consciousness is stimulated and included in the experience. Thus one can get a sense of what Gregers Brinch has achieved in this half-hour long piece. And yet it is certainly not a work for transcendent contemplation. Sharp accentuated rhythmical attacks show what kind of a struggle we are dealing with here: rediscovering the being of human dignity now buried under the rubble of dated principles and long shed human ideals. The violin opens with a fierce strain of strong rhythms and varied tone colouring, seemingly without changing the pitch whilst the piano creates a surrounding field of tension in a painful, lamenting and yet energetic manner. Or at the centre of the piece where the words: "it is crucial that human rights be realised between us…." unfold. A fugue appears in the voices, building up a rhythmically dynamic energy with gripping expressiveness. When later the piano and the violin take up the theme of the fugue, a feeling arises in the listener of being touched in a very deep place from which one would prefer to recoil. In being thus touched, one is taken away from the daily illusion of feeling secure and yet one can hardly help being drawn into this realm of uncertainty!

As this half-hour work it is comprised of a number of sections, a range of different qualities can be explored and developed. The dynamic relationship of the content and sections to one another and to the piece as a whole are so strong that nowhere is there a sense of a patchwork of musical bits and pieces. The richness of the form of the piece is manifold and although it is not tonal in a classical sense, the way in which sounds and rhythms relate to each other seems in no way arbitrary or constructed. Hence also those listeners not versed in contemporary music can be drawn into the expressiveness of the piece.

Gregers Brinch who grew up in Denmark and England studied composition under Prof. Elmar Lampson at the Hamburg Musikseminar from 1987 - 1992. After teaching at the seminar for Steiner/Waldorf pedagogy in Hamburg he settled in again England and taught at Emerson College for seven years before going freelance in order to dedicate himself more exclusively to composition. It takes a cosmopolitan to shake off the unchecked conceptualisations of language, delve so deeply into the being of language, that this in turn can unfold musically in such a way that the archetypal idea or meaning of ideal principles can emerge. In this sense the listener becomes included in such way as to bring the experience of this text from one where we normally can, at best relate to it in a legalistic and abstract way, to an experience brought by way of the lawfulness of the tone world that reverberates deep within the soul. Through this new sense of language and speech the confusion of Babel could soon be countered.

Our wish is that this piece will be taken up and be worked on and performed by a large number of ensembles. It is not an easy piece to master, and since it is a contemporary work the singers cannot rely on their musical habits. The work is sets high demands, which it needs must do as a true cultural deed.

May 2002 Friedwart Krüger

 
     

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