Fri 3 Nov

Wien Modern
Mark Andre: rwh 1-4

8:30pm | St. Stephen’s

  Buy Tickets for € 30,-

The breath that means the world: at the Wien Modern Festival, Mark Andre's spiritual opus magnum rwḥ 1-4 can be experienced for the first time in Austria - and at the composer's request in St. Stephen's Cathedral.

The silence at the beginning of the concert becomes a kind of leitmotif: some sounds in this feature-length composition live on the edge of disappearance - the fanning of air with a sheet of music, the sound of a switched-off organ flowing into nothingness, the whispering, breathing and huffing of the human voice. The audience experiences this breathing, sounding space in four chapters: In the first part, instruments and electronics are distributed around the room. The second part is sung by a choir; the third, shortest part is purely instrumental. In the fourth part, with choirs and orchestral groups distributed in the room, the scene expands to a long shot.

The large, expansive instrumentation and the large form on the one hand, the fragility, cautiousness, inwardness and spirituality on the other, do not form a contradiction: almost at the limit of the audible, where the air is just enough to live, an amazing, huge, delicate sound organism moves. With rwḥ 1-4, Mark Andre's music reaches an intensity that is unique.

"'rwḥ' (pronounced 'ruach') is an Aramaic word and opens up a very wide field of words: It is about breath, air, fragrance and wind, but also about spirit - and at the latest since Martin Luther's translation also about the Holy Spirit. This word field is feminine, which means that, unlike us, the Holy Spirit is also thought of as feminine. The title in its many meanings creates a very beautiful interface between the very earthly and existential, such as breath, on the one hand, and the supernatural, spiritual, on the other." (Mark Andre)

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