James-MacMillan-c-Hans van der Woerd

James MacMillan conducts two premières


  • Peter-Jan Wagemans Ombre/Marbre (world premiere)
  • Hanns Eisler Ernste Gesänge
  • James MacMillan Fifth symphony 'Le grand inconnu' (Dutch premiere)

SPIEGEL HALL 1:40-14:05 PM - Frederike Berntsen in conversation with Peter-Jan Wagemans

One concert, two premieres. James MacMillan conducts his Le grand inconnu and the world premiere of Peter-Jan Wagemans' Ombre/Marbre.

Grip in corona time
Peter-Jan Wagemans'Ombre/Marbre was supposed to sound as early as 2020, but then had to be postponed due to corona measures. For his orchestral work, Wagemans drew inspiration from Victor Hugo's poem Je suis fait d'ombre et de marbre. The spiral staircase metaphor central to it, Wagemans associates with corona time, with its cycles of life that no one seems to have a grip on.

Georg Nigl sings Hanns Eisler
Austria's star baritone Georg Nigl is a soloist in Eisler's Ernste Gesänge. Completed in 1962 after a long period of creation, the work is sometimes called his musical testament, although at the time Eisler did not know he had only a short time to live. Harking back to his well-known pugnacious songs on texts by Bertold Brecht and others, Eisler, in his Ernste Gesänge on poems and fragments by such diverse poets as Friedrich Hölderlin, Giacomo Leopardi, Bertolt Viertel and Helmut Richter, gives an almost romantic contemplation on matters that were close to his heart.

James MacMillan performs the Dutch premiere of his Fifth Symphony. The subtitle "Le grand inconnu" refers to the third element of the Holy Trinity: the Holy Spirit, to whom the Catholic Scot pays tribute in this work.

Saturday, 13 May 2023
The Royal Concertgebouw

Large Hall


Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
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James MacMillan
Netherlands Radio Choir
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Benjamin Goodson - Photo: Paolo Ferla
Benjamin Goodson
Choir conductor
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Georg Nigl

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