Birtwistle 'Deep Time' world premiere in Berlin

31 May 2017

Harrison Birtwistle's major new orchestral work 'Deep Time' received its world premiere on Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 June at the Berlin Philharmonie and Konzerthaus respectively, with the Berlin Staatskapelle conducted by Daniel Barenboim. 

The title takes its starting point from the work of the 18th century Scottish philosopher James Hutton, who proposed that the processes of rock erosion, sedimentation and formation have 'no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end', an idea which has influenced Birtwistle's thinking about music.

"Deep Time forms the completion of a triptych of orchestral works. The Staatskapelle brought clarity and technical mastery to Birtwistle's complex and layered music. Deep Time is a difficult piece that, like much of the composer's work, demands further investigation. The high complexity of Deep Time was aeons apart from the rest of the evening's programme" - Bachtrack

"Musical layers of rock rub against each other, interrupted by violent percussion and gushing winds - magma boulders are thrown musically into the air" - Tagesspiegel Berlin

Co-commissioned by the BBC Proms, it will receive its UK premiere on Sunday 16 July with the same forces.

You can read a full interview on 'Deep Time' here.

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