The aural magic of opposites. Christian Jost has composed a contemporary classic for the Konzerthausorchester and Iván Fischer
When composing a new work, Christian Jost is always on the lookout for magic moments. His music is frankly topical, poetic and associative – it tells stories for people and about people. That places him firmly in the tradition of premieres last presented in grand style by the likes of Gustav Mahler and Giacomo Puccini, and within that context suggests the use of concert halls and opera houses as venues for confronting the present and current events.
The peg for the works on Christian Jost’s Neue Meister debut is the magic of opposites.
“When in the second part of the BerlinSymphony the saxophone emerges from a pulsing orchestral sound and then gradually withdraws ever further into aural isolation, the atmosphere is established in which the entire work moves,” is how Christian Jost explains the work dedicated to his native city, premiered and recorded in 2015 with the orchestra of the Berlin Konzerthaus under the baton of Iván Fischer. Scored for vibraphone, piano, harp and large orchestra, the work reflects the energy-laden overall sound of the city, interfused with the repetitive rhythms of Berlin’s night life. The saxophone roams this vibrant sound landscape for the listener as it were, questioning the relationship of the self to the constantly changing urban way of life.
While BerlinSymphony transforms the macro perspective on Berlin into sound, Lover-Skysong focuses on the intimate memory of a loving couple’s life together. The newly-composed work, due to be premiered on June 20 at the Neue Meister concert in Berlin, was recorded with the German Chamber Orchestra of Berlin under the direction of Christian Jost himself. The orchestra is augmented by a trio comprising percussion, electric bass guitar and piano. Jost describes the progress of the composition thus: “Even the opening Adagio points to the illusion in which this wilful fusion sound flows, leading to ever changing percussive and harmonic variations. What remains in the dark bell-like sound mix of piano, electric bass and vibraphone is a sense of grateful melancholy for what has been experienced.”
Christian Jost is one of today’s greatest composers. The eight full-length operas and numerous large-scale symphonic works that he has already composed now form part of the standard repertoire of European theatres and orchestras, and they are performed worldwide. His work centres on premieres, a tradition that reaches back centuries to the core of music culture and that is again taking centre stage in the Neue Meister concert series. Jost is always on the lookout for modern and exciting narrative platforms for his works of music theatre and he develops innovative pieces that are set in a dramatic and magical atmosphere that dispels time and space. The mezzo-soprano Stella Doufexis, Christian Jost’s wife who died in 2015 at far too young an age, was the source for and inspirational heart of all his works and of his artistic activities.