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The Asko|Schönberg Ensemble Premieres Thomas Larcher's The Living Mountain at the Concertgebouw

Apr. 22, 2022

The Asko|Schönberg Ensemble and the Ensemble Academy, conducted by Gregory Charette, give the world premiere performance of Thomas Larcher's The Living Mountain for soprano and ensemble, with texts from "The Living Mountain" by Nan Shepherd onApril 30 at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Thomas Larcher, who is composer in residence at the Concertgebouw, is fascinated by the Dutch photographer Awoiska van der Molen’s work, in which landscapes feature prominently. This has resulted in a collaboration with Awoiska, who has created visuals for the new work.

The composer notes: 

"Mountains have always played an enormous role in my life, as an active mountaineer as well as a composer. At one point, I found a wide open, empty space for my soul to roam around … at other times climbing could be a challenge, I could experience extreme situations and dangers. What I never had experienced, though, was such a thorough and unpretentious look at the mountains as author Nan Shepherd or photographer Awoiska van der Molen have shown me. In Shepherd’s book it is not about mystifying the mountains or ‘testing oneself’. It is about discovering their beauty in one specific sound, in one look. It is about hearing the whole universe of music in one cry of a bird. And it is about hearing, feeling and experiencing yourself."

The Living Mountain is performed alongside Larcher's third string quartet, Madhares. Also inspired by a landscape, the title of that piece refers to the Madares, the white mountains near the Cretan village of Anapolis. 

Also on the program are Richard Ayres's No. 34b and Toru Takemitsu's Landscape 1.

Listen to Thomas Larcher's Piano Concerto(2020-2021):

(Thomas Larcher/Piano Concerto/Kerill Gerstein, piano/Berliner Philharmoniker/Semyon Bychkov, conductor)

To learn more about Thomas Larcher, visit:

Thomas Larcher
The Living Mountain (2019-2020)
for soprano and ensemble
texts (Eng) from "The Living Mountain" by Nan Shepherd
fl(pic)-2perc(timp, vib, crot, tub bells, steel pans, cowbell, cym, xyl, mar, b.d., tenor drum, wdbl, rainstick, lightweight paper, thundersheet-acc.pno(prepared)-str(

Madhares (2006/2007)
for string quartet