Peter Ruzicka

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Four world premieres in the 2011/12 season


for large Orchestra (2011)

World premiere: 5 November 2011, Leipzig, Gewandhaus
MDR-Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Peter Ruzicka

Commission by MDR

Further performances: 9 December 2011, Shanghai, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Peter Ruzicka; 17 December 2011, Beijing, China Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Ruzicka

Liszt's late piano piece Unstern! – Sinistre, written in 1885, follows a musical rhetoric which seems to exist beyond time. Freely arranged melodic gestures, hesitantly beginning and falling silent again; rhythmical tracks without progression; a music extinguishing in indefinite harmony.

My composition for large orchestra called ÜBER UNSTERN ("about Unstern"), composed in the Liszt year 2011, refers to this unique piano meditation. Musical figures are adopted, "stopped", enlarged and transcribed: A further development using a contra-subjective language which tries to express identification and distance, convergence and contradiction. 



Music for oboe and chamber orchestra (2011)

First performance: 5 August 2011, Salzau 
Albrecht Mayer (oboe) 
Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra 
Director: Peter Ruzicka

Commissioned by the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival

Further performances: 6 August 2011, Berlin, Konzerthaus; 7 August 2011 Hamburg, NDR (with CD-coproduction)

My oboe concerto AULODIE composed in 2011 is a work of seven connecting sketches all differing in density, length and instrumental balance. The solo instrument is accompanied by an ensemble consisting of 20 string players, 3 percussionists, harp, piano and celesta. All seven scenes begin with an identical musical figure. This allows for the development of a kind of "sound speech" which seems to draw its impetus to continue from its own existence...

"Aulos" was an ancient Greek instrument that was played on special occasions: used in militant work songs, as mourning or wedding music, for weapon dances and in satyr plays that could work themselves up into a wild frenzy. In the AULODIE as well, extreme emotional situations determine the mood of the seven scenes. The music seems to pause frequently to reflect on what was previously heard. AULODIE might be considered to be my most literary work.


It was clear why Strauss "Metamorphosen" were chosen as first work in the program. It was followed by Peter Ruzicka`s AULODIE for oboe and chamber orchestra premiered the night before. The soloist was Albrecht Mayer, solo oboist of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. There could not have been a better choice.. Albrecht interpretated the demanding work, which is characterized by its finely drawn clarity with a wonderful authority for which he received instant acclamation. This introspective, newest work by Ruzicka was the highlight of the evening. The chain of its seven "scenes" reflect in a sensitive way various personal images, at the same time using all the formal effects of music composition. Ruzicka`s music is always intellectually understandable and emotionally decent at the same time. He never bares his soul in riddles, nor does he hide it. He relates in the AULODIE - whose title alludes to an acient Greek song accompanied by an aulos - impressions of a soul.

Klaus Geitel, Berliner Morgenpost, 8 August 2011


Tribute for chamber ensemble (2011)

First performance: 16 March 2012, Karlsruhe (another performance: 18 March 2012) 
TEMA Ensemble, conducted by Gerard Buquet

Commissioned by the city of Karlsruhe on the occasion of the 60th Birthday of Wolfgang Rihm 

The tribute takes to quote a letter from Gustav Flaubert, Wolfgang Rihm at the edge of the score of his "Music for three strings" listed. It comments on a frenzied musical processing, which seems to rise gradually - unfinished, open, indeterminate. My composition for nine instruments is moving toward this place, at first fragmentary, tentative, only gradually finding language. Always escape-like, ecstatic, circling. But it seems to miss the imaginary vanishing point ...




First performance: 23 August 2012, Wiesbaden
Rheingau-Musiv Festival
hr Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt
Conductor: Paavo Järvi

Commission by Hessischer Rundfunk

The last of the four world premieres of the 2010-11 season:


Remembrance for Orchestra (2010)

UA: 10.+11. Juli 2011, Stuttgart
Staatsorchester Stuttgart
Conductor: Manfred Honeck
Commissio by Staatstheaters Stuttgart

In 2010 a "second look" in Mahler's Symphony Late Fragment. Broke through on his "Adagio", the traditional boundaries of musical expression a hundred years ago. To the cry of Neuntonklangs, those exclamation of loss and despair. In the infinite-looking viola line of withdrawal and announces farewell and last ends in a field resolution of transcendent contact. A second look as a composer, whose own musical material approximates the shape of foreign and removed. Identification and distance. Even looking back at pre-thought-out. Circular motion, as if Mahler concentrically enclosing. Then stop, disappearance, introspection. And once again breaking out, distant signals before passing under the picture.




Orchesterwerke_Vol1 Ruzicka:
Vorecho - Acht Ansätze für großes Orchester
Nachklang - Spiegel für Orchester
Memorial per G.S. - für Orchester
Nachtstück (- aufgegebenes Werk) - für Orchester

Conductor: Peter Ruzicka
NDR Sinfonieorchester

Date of Release: 1.11.2011
Label: NEOS 11045
ASIN: 4260063110450


The Minguet String Quartet is performing

String quartets No. 1-6 by Peter Ruzicka

at Alte Oper Frankfurt

Monday, 19 September 2011
Mozart Saal, 20:00 h

Minguet Quartett

Minguet Quartett
Sarah Maria Sun (Soprano)
Johannes Martin Kränzle (Narrator)

Peter Ruzicka: String quartets No. 1-6

Alte Oper Frankfurt
Powered by Aventis Foundation, Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst, Gesellschaft der Freunde der Alten Oper Frankfurt

Ruzicka - String quartets No. 1-6 on two CDs (NEOS)

This recording received the award "ECHO Klassik Preis 2010" in the category of chamber music productions


NEOS 10822/23 (2 CD Box) Coproduction with Deutschlandfunk

Minguet Quartett
Mojca Erdmann, Soprano, Christoph Bantzer, Narrator

01 INTROSPEZIONE • Streichquartett Nr. 1
Dokumentation für Streichquartett (1969/1970)
02-06 ... FRAGMENT... • Streichquartett Nr. 2
Fünf Epigramme für Streichquartett (1970)
07 Paul Celan: 12 Gedichte aus"Zeitgehöft" (gelesen von Peter Ruzicka)
08 KLANGSCHATTEN für Streichquartett (1991)
09 ... ÜBER EIN VERSCHWINDEN • Streichquartett Nr. 3 (1992)

01 "... SICH VERLIEREND" • Streichquartett Nr. 4
für Streichquartett und Sprecher (1996)
02 STURZ • Streichquartett Nr. 5 (2004)
03-09 ERINNERUNG UND VERGESSEN • Streichquartett Nr. 6
für Streichquartett und Sopran (2008)

In Peter Ruzicka`s catalogue of works there is an inner landscape, the contours of which were definitively formed. This was brought about during the first three decades, by the soft impetus of Paul Celan’s lyric and since 2002 by the fascination of Hoelderlin`s poetry and thought.Two poets - two focuspoints on an ellipse which, apart from the two operas (Celan, 2001) and (Hoelderlin 2008) include about 40 works for big orchestra, numerous chamber works many others with a vocal setting and the seven compositions for string quartet documented here.

These works span and structure a period close on four decades (1970-2008).
Each work "reflects a particular mood, a particular occasion" (P.R.). One can experience each like excerpts from a diary which, notwithstanding the "variance of the tones" (Hoelderlin), communicate with each other by the one tone consistent in all. This common tone is defined by the references to Mahler, Webern and Celan, which have echoed throughout the aesthetic course of Peter Ruzicka`s works from the very beginning.

As trigonometrical points of his creativity, they succeed in binding together works of very differing intention - right up to the latest operas - in a common oeuvre. Parallel to this one finds the parametres of memory, time and stillnes so permeating his works in ever new forms that they may be seen as a watermark of his compositions. 

At the heart of this one thought is foremostly developed - following the doubt in Celan`s lyric and giving substance to Hoelderlin`s poetic thought - which one might consider to be the imaginary centre of Ruzicka`s musical poetry: it is the image of becoming in passing away,an image which, never triumphant, often unsurely and full of doubts, becomes audible in his scores.

Peter Becker