Grosser Sendesaal des rbb and Kammermusiksaal
Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano, celesta)
Dirk Rothbrust (percussion)
Benjamin Kobler (piano)
Tamara Stefanovich (piano)
Marco Stroppa (electronics)
For two further concerts of music by Stockhausen we moved to the splendid Westend concert hall in Hans Poelzig’s Haus des Rundfunks for a varied programme of electronic and ensemble music, before returning to the Philharmonie’s Kammermusiksaal for Mantra. (Alas, I had to hurry back to London for a meeting and thus missed the final event, a performance of Inori.)
Refrain, for three performers (Benjamin Kobler on piano, Pierre-Laurent Aimard on celesta, and Dirk Rothbrust on percussion), came next. If Telemusik offered ritual of a sort both old and new, so too did this. I could not help but wonder whether Boulez had occasionally had it in mind as a precursor to his orchestral Rituel in memoriam Bruno Maderna. It was mesmerising to watch as well as to listen to; the distinction seemed perhaps unusually false. Serialist theatre, in which freedom and organisation were revealed as two sides of the same coin, revealed silence also to be as crucial as it would be to Bruckner (that despite the giggles of two audience members next to me). Those strange cries of – to? – another world seemed already to look forward to Mantra and the Inori I was fated not to hear.