Rights sold: Japan
Format 160x220 Hardcover
EUR 19,90 / sFr 33,90
published in Januar 2003
The strangest Viennese in the world - Nikolaus Harnoncourt and his Concentus Musicus
This portrait of an ensemble of great stylistic influence traces its history from its pioneering days to the present.
Nowadays this is all taken for granted. The classical music market is populated by whole droves of ensembles producing "original" sound, young musicians demonstrate their mastery on period instruments, and the term "Klangrede" [music as speech] has long become everyday usage. In 1953, when the 'cellist Nikolaus Harnoncourt and his wife Alice, a violinist, began a private artistic experiment together with a handful of interested colleagues, Early Music was uncharted territory. For four years, Harnoncourt and his friends rehearsed in their living-room, researching musical material and instruments, techniques and sounds until they were ready to venture into public performance. Insatiable curiosity, unseen assiduity and inexhaustible devotion to an idea whose success was unforeseeable characterised the early days, during which the Concentus Musicus of Vienna developed into an ensemble which had a determining influence on period style.
This book is intended to bring to life fifty years of adventure, during which a conspiracy of highly specialised musicians set new standards with each stage of their development, making interpretative history. Milan Turković, a member of Concentus, and Monika Mertl, Harnoncourt's biographer, examine all these various events in a balanced view from both inside and out. A CD with commentary by Nikolaus Harnoncourt accompanies the text.
Monika Mertl is a freelance music journalist in Vienna. Her biography of Harnoncourt, Vom Denken des Herzens [The heart has its reasons...] (1999) has been translated into several languages.
Milan Turković is one of the few internationally-known bassoon soloists. He has played in Concentus Musicus since 1967, and is also a member of the Vienna-Berlin Ensemble and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, N.Y.