Approaching a Distant Nearness

Brahms, Rihm, Frans Hals, the Fullness of Life and a Pot-au-feu at the Galliker

Thomas Meyer
In response to a commission from the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and the Lucerne Festival, Wolfgang Rihm has composed four “answers” or “compositional essays” to the four Brahms symphonies, entitled Nähe fern (“Distant nearness”). After the première of Nähe fern 3, Thomas Meyer interviewed Wolfgang Rihm about his Brahms cycle, in which Brahms’ music is a constant presence but is barely perceptible, and certainly not as any kind of quotation. Instead, his music serves as “pre-fields” in which the Brahmsian material “swirls” around in a yet unordered fashion, with the energy of an immediate compositional gesture.

by moxi