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World Premiere of Matthias Pintscher's un despertar with Alisa Weilerstein and the Boston Symphony Orchestra

Mar. 01, 2017

World Premiere of Matthias Pintscher's <em>un despertar</em> with Alisa Weilerstein and the Boston Symphony Orchestra

On March 23, François-Xavier Roth leads cellist Alisa Weilerstein and the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the widely anticipated world premiere of Matthias Pintscher’s new cello concerto, un despertar (an awakening). The work, Pintscher’s second concerto for cello, was co-commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Danish Radio Symphony.

Pintscher describes the tonal quality of un despertar as being derived from the dark, warm singing of a male human voice, and takes inspiration from “this unbelievably lyrical dark gold which [Alisa Weilerstein] has within her playing.” In contrast with his earlier cello concerto, Reflections on Narcissus, which primarily featured “fast and hysterical” gestures within the instrument's stratospheric registers, un despertar explores the middle and low registers of the instrument to create a piece “almost out of the sound of a shadow.” The orchestration reflects this focus with distinct lyricism, tenderness and transparency.

("Reflections on Narcissus" - Alisa Weilerstein; New York Philharmonic; Matthias Pintscher, cond.)

The title of the new work, taken from the poem of the same name by Octavio Paz, also influenced Pintscher’s approach to the piece:

How this old man stands at the window and looks out into his snow-covered life, in the silence of the fine snow, analyzing his whole life, that’s an emotional state which inspired me … a state of awakening and self-knowledge.

Additional performances take place March 24 and 25 at Boston’s Symphony Hall, followed by performances with the Danish Radio Symphony in 2018. On April 6, Pintscher receives the premiere of a new work for baritone and orchestra, Shirim, with the NDR Sinfonieorchester and baritone Bo Skovhus, led by Christoph Eschenbach.

For more information on Matthias Pintscher, visit and

Matthias Pintscher
un despertar (2017)
for cello and orchestra

Reflections on Narcissus (2004/2005)
for cello and orchestra
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