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Robert Aitken, artistic director

Duo Szathmáry/Tzschoppe

Saturday March 14, 2015 at 8:00, Church of the Holy Trinity, 10 Trinity Square [MAP]
Reservations: 416.961.9594
Sunday March 15, 2015 at 4:00, St. Cuthbert’s Anglican Church, 1541 Oakhill Dr., Oakville [MAP]
Reservations: 416.769.3893 or 1.877.769.5224
Zsigmond Szathmáry organ | Olaf Tzschoppe percussion
Co-presented with Organix
Organix Logo 15 copy

Virtuoso works written for this unique organ and percussion duo.


Andreas Paparousos (Greece 1975) - 2 II (2010/12) Canadian premiere
Joh. Christian Schulz (Germany 1962) - ORGANOLOGICS op.54 (2007-2008) Canadian premiere
Annette Schlünz (Germany 1984) - -verstummen- (2004) Canadian premiere
Claude Lefebvre (France 1931-2012) - Der Nachtbote (Le Facteur de la nuit) (1994) Canadian premiere
Olaf Tzschoppe (Germany 1962) - Kolongala (2008) Canadian premiere
Zsigmond Szathmary (Hungary 1939) - Sense of Rhythm (2011) Canadian premiere

Programme notes:

Andreas Paparousos - 2 II (2010/12)

Andreas Paparousos was born in Athens in 1975. He studied Philosophy at the University of Athens and also composition and music theory with Ioannis. He received his undergraduate diploma in 2002, followed by a master’s degree in 2006. He also took piano lessons with Anastasia Parissi and organ lessons with Christos Paraskevopoulos. In 2005 he studied composition with Younghi Pagh-Paan and electronic composition with Killian Schwoon and Joachim Heinz at the University of the Arts Bremen. He is member of the composers unit Enargia in Athens and is a co-founder of the Ensemble New Babylon in Bremen.

2 II (2010): …dedicated to Domenico Scarlatti... Music as the highest art form should change radically the way of thinking through self-reflection that [it] can effectuate in the best case, otherwise [it] is useless...
— A. Paparousos

Joh. Christian Schulz - ORGANOLOGICS op.54 (2007-2008)

Johann Christian Schulz was born in Karlsruhe in 1962. After private lessons in guitar, piano and composition (the latter with Robert Wittinger), he studied music-ethnology and musicology at the universities of Freiburg and Basel with Hans Oesch, Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht and Hans Peter Haller among others as well as composition with Milko Kelemen at the Stuttgart College of Music. His compositions include both chamber and symphonic music but also works for electronic media and vocal ensembles. He is often called upon as a conductor in the area of new music and stage productions. As of 1984 he has pursued a parallel career as a producer for many international labels and artists. After living in Ireland for more than 20 years he now resides as a freelance composer near Freiburg in the far south-west of Germany. He is a founding member and, since 2012, the chairman of the composers association Interessengemeinschaft Freiburg Komponisten e.V..

Organologics I, written for and dedicated to Zsigmond Szathmáry and Olaf Tzschoppe, has the symmetrical construction of a winged altar, a triptych of the baroque period. The outer pictures of the closed altar correspond to the beginning and the ending, the open sides with their dramatic and dynamic development point to an atmospheric dense but metrically freely notated central picture. Mistrusting symmetrical constructions a small Coda was added which takes up the theme of the central picture and ends quite conciliatorily in a major key. The tonal material originates from a sequence of fifths  (c-g-d-a-e-b-f#-c#…), from which all harmonious structures are derived. Challenging is the combination of pitched percussion instruments (vibraphone and glockenspiel) with the more flexible intonation of the organ, which can generate very lively mixtures and interferences one would rather expect to find in electronically produced music. — JC Schulz

Annette Schlünz -verstummen- (2004)

Annette Schlünz is a German composer of mostly stage, chamber, vocal, and multimedia works. She studied composition from a young age in Halle, becoming a pupil of Udo Zimmermann in Dresden and undertaking further studies in Berlin. She has taught in Germany and South America and been the recipient of numerous awards including the Hanns Eisler Prize and Heidelberg Artists’ Prize. She is co-founder of the German-French ensemble Compagnie de Quatre and has collaborated with the French sculptor Daniel Depoutot in the presentation of the opera TagNachtTraumstaub at EXPO 2000 in Hannover. She is actively engaged in interchange between early and new music. Her music is finely wrought and subtle in effect, employing sensitive sifting and transformation of colours.

- verstummen – (1994/2004): 20 years ago I wrote –verstummen– (to fall silent) for three percussionists and organ, an unusually vehement work for my way of composing, after a text by Fernando Pessoa, “transversal rain”. Finally this piece led me a way to plumb out the extremes between slowness and fastest motion and the commuting between the softest low sounds and the painfully shrill ones. This is reinforced in the new version of the piece and leaves also for acoustical reasons a single percussionist who will quieten down the organ. — A. Schlünz

Claude Lefebvre - Der Nachtbote (1994)

The French composer and poet Claude Lefebvre (1931-2012) trained with Darius Milhaud at the Paris Conservatory and with Pierre Boulez at the Musik Akademie in Basel. In Metz he was appointed teacher of analysis and composition at the conservatory (1966) and also taught at the University. The initiator of the Cerm (Centre européen pour la recherche musicale), he founded and directed the festival of Rencontres internationales de musique contemporaine de Metz (1972-1992), and later the Rendez-vous musique nouvelle in Forbach (1996-2003). Claude Lefebvre composed both electro-acoustic and mixed or purely instrumental and vocal works. His compositional research was founded upon contrasts between dissonant and consonant harmonies, chromatic chords as well as phenomena of tension and relaxation. He wrote pieces for unusual instrumental formations as well as pedagogical works. He was also interested in relationships with other arts, notably painting, literature, and particularly the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud.

Der Nachtbote (1994): The suggestions for this composition were provided by Szathmáry who performed the première performance in 1994 during the “International Studio-Week for New Sacred Music” in Cologne. The title of the piece indicates a poetic idea which inspired the composition and, at same time, finds clear expression in the composers’ poetic verses. Lefebvre transformed this nocturnal vision into a broad tonal picture with even progressions and delicate-sounding layers of chords contrasting with abruptly changing tonal occurrences. Repetition and variation are the structural principles which form the composition. The colour variations formulated in this vision find their reflection in the choice of organ stops. Altogether, the conveyance of moods takes precedence over the procedural principle. — C. Lefebvre

Olaf Tzschoppe - Kolongala (2008)

Olaf Tzschoppe is a member of the internationally renowned ensemble Percussions de Strasbourg and is a founding member of the ensemble for contemporary music ensemble SurPlus in Freiburg, Germany. He frequently tours throughout Europe, North and South America, Asia and Africa. His artistic interest is centred on the solo repertoire and the chamber music of the 20th and 21st centuries, with a special focus on the repertoire for organ and percussion and interdisciplinary collaborations with other art forms. Besides frequent concerts as a soloist Tzschoppe has performed in many other ensembles including the MusikFabrik in Cologne, the Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt and the Klangforum in Vienna and is also frequently involved with improvised music. He studied percussion in Freiburg with Bernhard Wulff and in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan with Michael Udow. Olaf Tzschoppe is Professor for percussion at the University of the Arts in Bremen, Germany.

Kolongala for solo percussion is a collage of sounds dominated by intense rhythms and ritual elements. There is a tension between the distance that restrains and creates the immediacy with which one is drawn to the texture of sound. After a furious drum introduction, the piece sinks into a reflective, almost meditative atmosphere. It gains coherence and meaning over time through its hidden mysteries. Sounds of cymbals and tam-tam are interrupted by little eruptions and accents leading into a coda where the piece finds its balance in the combination of previous elements. — Olaf Tschoppe

Zsigmond Szathmáry - Sense of Rhythm (2011)

Zsigmond Szathmáry (b. 1939, Hódmezővásárhely, Hungary) studied composition with Ferenc Szabó and organ with Ferenc Gergely at the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Budapest from 1958 to 1963. He pursued post-graduate instrumental education at first in Vienna with Alois Forer and after he moved to Germany from 1964 at the Frankfurt Musikhochschule with Helmut Walcha. Parallel to this he participated from 1964 to 1967 in the Cologne Courses for New Music, studying composition with Henri Pousseur and Karlheinz Stockhausen, and attending the Darmstädter Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in 1964 and 1965, studying with György Ligeti. After sitting his A-exams in church music in 1970, Szathmáry worked at first as cantor and organist in Hamburg-Wellingsbüttel and from 1976 to 1978 at the Bremen Cathedral. From 1972 he was also active as a lecturer at the conservatories in Lübeck, Bremen, and Hannover. In 1978 he accepted the position of professor of organ at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg. Besides guest professorships in Tokyo and Seoul, and organ courses, Szathmáry has developed a worldwide career not only as an organist and pianist, but also as a conductor. His artistic activities have been rewarded with numerous prizes and honours. Since 2007 Szathmáry has been titular organist at St. Peter’s in Cologne.

Sense of Rhythm (2011): Making music together is just like talking, having a dispute and then reconciling, just like real life with all its ups and downs. It demands rigour and mildness and above all understanding. Since both participating instruments can unfold their particular features (organ: particularly harmony - percussion: particularly rhythm) a new dimension of greatness and chromaticity arises, which is fascinating for me. It is as if a new instrument has come to existence, which is much more than some instruments from the baroque era with their build in toys such as drum or glockenspiel. I have dedicated Sense of Rhythm to my friend Olaf Tzschoppe. — Zsigmond Szathmáry