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PARKMUSIC New Horizons 08

Olivier Messiaen ? A Personal Encounter

The Festival PARKMUSIK New Horizons 2008 of the singer and music artist Sigune von Osten were all about Messiaen on the occasion of the composer's hundredth anniversary:

It was a very personal homage: from 1987 until the end of 1991 ? he died in April 1992 - Sigune von Osten had worked and sung concerts with Oliver Messiaen and his wife, the pianist Yvonne Loriod. She carried his vocal work into the world and initiated festivals with his music. Her contribution to the book "Messiaen - l'empreinte d'un géant" (Messiaen ? imprint of a giant), which was released in Paris by Edition Séguier at the beginning of 2008, was called "La voix qui transcende Messiaen" (The voice that transcends Messiaen). The collaboration between the young German singer and the geriatric French composer was a particular case of luck: long before her time he had written a work that is one-of-a-kind for non-European music in terms of the diversity of vocal tones and influences. She was endued with the rich and unusual expressive scales of contemporary vocal techniques; she came from contemporary music and she yielded new possibilities of vocal expression. Messiaen described the result of their collaboration with the words: "The highly sophisticated vocal part for the female artist has reached new dimensions of expression with the help of Sigune von Osten. It was a miracle. The metamorphosis of my work through her surpassed all my expectations and added extraordinarily creative moments in comparison to all the previous interpretations." (Pravda / Bratislava 1987).

Music by Messiaen, Jolivet, Stockhausen, Boulez, Xenakis, Gaussin, Rolin, etc.
Lyrics by Cécile Sauvage and Paul Eluard, diary extracts by Messiaen
Indian percussion and melodies from Cusco

Chamber choir anima mundi, direction - Roland Techet Armin Fuchs, piano
Thomas Bloch, glass harmonica / Ondes Martenot Ib Hausmann, clarinet
Ramesh Shotham, Indian percussion Enriqze Pilco Paz, violin / David Vera Flores guitar
Sigune von Osten, soprano / audio-visual performance / reading / concept / direction

Media coverage

"The festival opened last night with ? one is bound to say ? a small sensation: it was a world premiere, there was an audio-visual presentation about Olivier Messiaen and, therein, Sigune von Osten introduced sound material from joint rehearsals for the first time ever?..?

SWR2 Kultur / Journal am Morgen (MP3)

?The twelfth PARKMUSIK New Horizons was dedicated to Oliver Messiaen. It culminated in the performance of ?Harawi?, his song about love and death, which was intensely worked on by Sigune von Osten, Messian himself and his wife Yvonne Loriod??
Once again Sigune von Osten familiarised the guests on her estate with one of the greatest composers of the 20th century in a virtually ingenious way: His rhythms, his colours and, that could be sensed in every respect, his deeply religious borne love.?

Allgemeine Zeitung / Feuilleton

??? .Where once pious women, so-called beguines, strolled to be close to Creation in untouched nature, soprano and singer Sigune von Osten opened the festival PARKMUSIK New Horizons last weekend for the twelfth time... The mystical atmosphere that has always surrounded the Trombacher Hof has reached new dimensions through additional light effects....
In the centre of attention were the musical creations of Olivier Messiaen. Sigune von Osten was telling us about her personal encounters with him in an audio-visual narration for his 100th anniversary. Of course, she also presented samples of his work such as ?Sourire? and, on Saturday night, she sang his sophisticated cycle ?Harawi? accompanied by the pianist Armin Fuchs in a strong-voiced yet sensitive way.
Already in the sample on Friday night the audience could sense a piece that was strongly influenced by nature and profound belief; one could hear the whispers of the wind in the treetops, the interplay of lights and shadows in a clear-cut, the murmur of a creek and the noises of the night. Sounds that form a harmonious unity within the healthy surrounding of the Trombacher Hof, in the lowlands with high meadows, the moorish rock and the purling of the creek Trombach?. ?

Öffentlicher Anzeiger

Voices of the audience

????.After this fantastic choreography of the whole weekend, it was so wonderful to stroll along the river of the lowland at 11pm, to get some hot tea and, afterwards, to enter this fairy-tale forest that combines all seasons in all colours including the winter ice and the rattling cold. It was so beautiful to be led to the car in such an affectionate way at the end of the night and it has shown with how much enthusiasm you prepared and executed this festival.
?.. How can you so wonderfully embed musicians in the meadow and then also listen to such beautiful music? It was like a dream?. This infatuatingly wonderful music with these really beautiful people and the sound of their instruments ? brilliantly performed by everone ?. have made this into a wonderful event. It was naturally crowned by your concert, which probably invaded us so deeply because we were prepared very well throughout the afternoon so that we had developed ? at least that's my impression ? a very special ability to absorb it.
It goes without saying that all the musical contributions were outstanding as much as the glass cylinder and the onde martenot were gorgeous. 

H.und D.P., audience / Mail 25.08.08

???. what a wonderful Parkmusik! Once again you have succeeded captivating us, be it by the effects of the lowlands or by the musicians who played instruments never-before seen, added by your very own fantastic full-length interpretation of Harawi and a dreamlike illumination along the shores of the Trombach. The mixture of all this, in addition to the sense of community of the audience, have made these two evenings once again to a very special experience. Thank you very much for that! Whether in cement dust, on the green lowlands or in old ruins, the audience as much as the locations are completely filled with the staging of your ideas.

C. und M.J., audience / Mail 24.08.08

?.. it was really a nice ?Festival of an alternative music?, last weekend's Parkmusik. Once again an experience for ears and eyes. Strolling along the magic path was an ambrosial encore to all the delicacies.

W.D., photographer / Mail 25.08

Again it was such a beautiful celebration by and with you of a slowly departing summer??
I thank you for these hours of absolute harmony between nature, the arts and life.

H.H., audience / Mail 31.08.08

?The images are still illuminated and the music still audible in our memories ? only by using poetic vocabulary one can possibly live up to such an event that has lured us and all our senses. When before did people experience music that was emitted from an ocean of flowers? ?. And also your own singing was extremely touching??

I.v.K., audience / Mail 31.08.08

?I, too, found it great to perform in such a magnificent meadow, the interesting people, the atmosphere .... and all the concerts had something very special.

... that is a very particular place.

I.H., Mitwirkender / Mail 14.09.08

SWR 2 Kultur / nmzmedia / Allgemeine Zeitung / Rhein-Main Presse 
Öffentlicher Anzeiger Bad Kreuznach   Rhein-Zeitung / Kultur   Rhein-Hunsrück-Zeitung


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Photos: Werner Dupuis / Peter Nicolay