WELL RECEIVED: Atelier Community Theatre's production of Peer Gynt
Komponist im Chor und'als Solist
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.
A psychological rollercoaster
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?
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
babysue: Comics, Poems, and Reviews
2010-07-22: Brinch/Hall/Froom/Brings, Bilotta/Gaines, Merzbow, Klimperei, Frith/Lussier, Soft Machine
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(!).
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
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.
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
"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