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Birthday Celebrations – A Recap

The Ernst Krenek Forum celebrated its 10th anniversary



On October 13, 2018 the Ernst Krenek Forum celebrated its 10th anniversary on Minoritenplatz in Krems with a multifaceted festive program. It reflected the stylistic spectrum of the multi-talent Ernst Krenek – ranging from late romantic to twelve-tone and electronic sounds – and presented a selection of the Ernst Krenek Forum’s many areas of activity.

The Tonkünstler Bläserquintett (wind quintet) opened the festivities with the Fanfare for an Uncommon Man, composed by Kurt Schwertsik exclusively for the anniversary, which was heard on Minoritenplatz every hour.

Ensemble Federspiel and mezzo-soprano Anna Clare Hauf shined with virtuoso excerpts from their arrangement of Krenek’s seminal opera Jonny spielt auf. Musicologist and Krenek expert Manfred Permoser provided the relevant background information.

That one could make a mountain resound was demonstrated by the unjustly forgotten Concerto Grosso Nr. 1: the 21-year-old Ernst Krenek transferred the topography of a mountain ridge onto music paper and thus finding his way to the main theme of the first movement. Music School principle Hubert Poell and the Modern Art Ensemble of the Krems Music School performed an arrangement of the first two movements of Krenek’s early piece.

The next event on the program was presented by the teachers and students of the Krems Music School: a flute quartet and a duo with oboe (Manuela Steindl) and piano (Uli Datler) played pieces from Krenek’s School Music.

As an outstanding result of the Ernst Krenek Forum’s music education program, the short film of the dance and video workshop Das geheime Königreich (The Secret Kingdom) was presented; it was realized by music educator Veronika Grossberger and choreographer Katharina Weinhuber with the integration class 3a of the Paudorf Elementary School.

A tenth anniversary offers a suitable occasion to reflect upon past experiences, but also to develop new perspectives. In a stimulating panel discussion, music manager Michael Kaufmann, chairman of the board of the Ernst Krenek Institut Privatstiftung Ernst Kovacic, general secretary Petra Hinterholzer, and moderator Hannes Eichmann addressed matters of contemporary and society-oriented work in cultural institutions.

The sound possibilities of the 2017 refurbished modular synthesizer, one of the oldest original synthesizer systems of Don Buchla and part of Ernst Krenek’s estate, were presented by Volkmar Klien (professor at the Anton Bruckner Privatuniversität Linz).

Members of the Ernst Krenek Ensemble, including Hanna Weinmeister (violin), Tatjana Masurenko (viola), Dorothea Schönwiese (cello), and Anthony Spiri (piano), dedicated themselves with passion and acumen to chamber music by Ernst Krenek and presented the new CD Chamber Music and Songs, Vol.1. Recorded with guests including Florian Boesch, Bernarda Fink and Laura Aikin, the CD will be released in the Toccata label soon.

The highlight of the day was the premiere of the orchestral version of Krenek’s Reisebuch aus den österreichischen Alpen (Travel Book from the Austrian Alps). Eight songs were orchestrated by Ernst Krenek in 1973; Till Alexander Körber, commissioned by the widow Gladys N. Krenek, scored the other twelve with great empathy in 2018. Under the very experienced direction of HK Gruber, the brilliant tenor Alexander Kaimbacher and the Webern Kammerphilharmonie of the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts took the listeners to the mountain villages, wine cellars and pilgrimage sites that Krenek honors with sentimentality and yet also with irony in his 1929 song cycle.

Awaiting those who remained until the end was, as a special surprise, “unser wein” (our wine), the first Krenek wine made by the Krems organic vintner Stagård, and, named after the eight song of Krenek’s Reisebuch.

The team of the Ernst Krenek Institute thanks all visitors, artists, supporters, and friends for celebrating with us and for contributing to the success of the festivities.

We are looking forward to the coming 10 years!


Pictures: Walter Skokanitsch