© Wouter Hagens

A building in which visual, sonic, spatial and temporal dimensions merge.

About the concert

Edgar Varèse Poème électronique
Iannis Xenakis Metastaseis
Anton Bruckner Sinfonie Nr. 2 c-Moll (Fassung 1877)

When the architect Le Corbusier was commissioned to build a Philips Pavilion for the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels, he envisaged a building in which visual, sonic, spatial and temporal dimensions would merge. To achieve this, he recruited two partners: the architect and composer Iannis Xenakis and the composer and pioneer of electronic music Edgar Varèse. Fascinated by Varèse’s forays into the terra incognita of artificially generated sounds, he commissioned him to create an »electronic poem« for the pavilion to accompany a series of colours and sounds.

The pavilion’s bizarre silhouette had absolutely nothing in common with traditional forms of construction. Xenakis, who thought of his music as architecture and vice versa, used this for his orchestral composition Metastaseis, that follows a principle laid down in graphic form.  

The Philips Pavilion went down in history as an epoch-making, visionary Gesamtkunstwerk. Even now it continues to inspire artists from a range of disciplines – including the film architect Thomas Stammer, who draws on Le Corbusier’s vision for his design of the performances space for Michael Wertmüller’s opera D.I.E.

Separated by some distance from Xenakis and Varèse in terms of aesthetics and time, Anton Bruckner, the great Austrian late Romantic, also constructed spaces in his symphonies: vast ones. In his 2nd Symphony he endlessly repeats the tiniest motifs, placing them one after another like the pieces of mosaics that make up the monumental domes of sacred buildings – an entirely original approach that made him unique in the Vienna of his time.

This will be an opportunity to hear Tung-Chieh Chuang conduct the Bochumer Symphoniker for the first time since taking up his post as the orchestra’s new GMD.

Dates and tickets

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