Fourth Movement of Han Lash's Forestallings Premiered by the Mainz Philharmonic State Orchestra as Part of a Composer Portrait Weekend
Apr. 18, 2023
On April 14, the Mainz Philharmonic State Orchestra, led by Hermann Bäumer, gave the world premiere performance of Han Lash's Forestallings in its complete, four-movement form, having commissioned the fourth movement as part of their composer portrait series which featured several of Lash's chamber and orchestral works on subsequent concerts over the weekend.
The composer notes:
"My piece, Forestallings, takes just the opening gesture from Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 as a point of departure. From that rather stark D – an anacrusis, my slow introduction unfolds in its own direction, quickly parting ways from Beethoven’s. I explore a constellation of harmonies which then lead to a faster music, which derives from the same material as what I used in my slow introduction, but now reimagined in a more urgent character. The slow music and the fast music form a sort of dialectic and a dialogue, and a sense of conflict is produced by the harmonic constellation whose hierarchies shift throughout the length of the piece. It ends uncertain of which tonal center leans upon which, asking a question rather than offering a resolution."
The orchestra also performed the German premiere of Lash's double harp concerto, The Peril of Dreams which the composer describes as:
"a symphony expressed through the lens of a double harp concerto: four movements which are in many ways thematically connected. The first movement lays out the musical materials and the relationship of soloists to ensemble. The second, a kind of minuet scherzo, reveals a hidden character – the ‘hymn from upstairs’, which only makes its appearance at the very end of the movement. The third movement is a kind of Tarantella or death dance – a short, poisonous spike of energy before the somber, tragic final movement in which the harps drift nobly further and further from the orchestra."
Listen to Hannah Lash's Subtilior, Lamento (2018):
Subtilior, Lamento/Hannah Lash/American Modern Ensemble/
Francisco José Hernández Bolaños, conductor.
To learn more about Hannah Lash, visit: schott-music.com.
First movement commissioned by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
Second movement commissioned by the Colorado Music Festival
Third movement commissioned by the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra Foundation
Fourth movement commissioned by the Phiharmonic State Orchestra Mainz
View the full score