Peter Ruzicka

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für großes Orchester (2011/12)

- R.W. (2012) 

17./18. November 2013, Hamburg, Laeiszhalle (Integral performance)
Hamburger Philharmoniker
Conductor: Peter Ruzicka
Commission by Hamburger Philharmoniker

My two "over-paintings"  are based on two late piano works of Franz Liszt: "Unstern sinistre" from the year 1885 and "At Richard Wagners Grave" from 1883. In them Liszt used a rhetoric which seems to have fallen out of time: freely formed gestures which begin hesitatingly and soon fall silent, traces of rhythm without development, a composition which finally extinguishes itself in indefinite harmonies. My piece for large orchestra circles around Liszt`s solitary meditative late works Unstern and R.W.  Musical shapes from the original are taken up, frozen in time, enlarged and retitled. It is a furthering of thoughts, digging deeper in a contrasubjective language which seeks to express identity, distancing from, advancing toward, and contradiction.



für Klarinette solo (2012)

UA: 23. Mai 2013, Wien, Konzerthaus, Soloist: Jörg Widmann
Commission by Konzerthaus Wien

The THREE PIECES composed in the Summer of 2012 have a subterranean connection to my "Three scenes for solo Clarinet" composed 45 years earlier. Both pieces could be titled Circling/Eruption/ Epitaph. Three occurences are retold as it were in another "tone", in another language that has a new experience in musical conciousness. 



für Klavier (2012)

UA: Juni 2013, Klavierfestival Ruhr
Solistin: Sophie-Mayuko Vetter

In his late piano works Liszt used a rhetoric which seems to have fallen out of time: freely formed gestures which begin hesitatingly and soon fall silent, traces of rhythm without development, a composition which finally extinguishes itself in indefinite harmonies. Under the impression of this solitaire I wrote a piece for large orchestra “About Unstern”: musical shapes from the original are taken up, held up, enlarged and retitled. it is a furthering of thoughts, digging deeper in a contrasubjective language which seeks to express identity, distancing from, advancing toward, and contradiction. The piano piece "late thoughts" composed in 2012 is an attempt to extend the transcription, from the perspective of distant memory, as a commentary on the piano meditations of Franz Liszt and on my own orchestra work: musicaboutmusicabout. 


für großes Orchester (2012)

First performance: 23. August 2012, Wiesbaden
hr Sinfonieorchester
Conductor: Paavo Järvi
Commission by Hessischer Rundfunk

Further performances:             
-  4. Mai 2013, Berlin, Philharmony
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Conductor: Peter Ruzicka
- 3. April 2014, Hamburg
NDR Sinfonieorchester, Conductor: Peter Ruzicka

My music undertakes a search for an imagined far-off sound, approaching it but never reaching it completely. The road passes through sound-clouds: cristalline musical shapes which seem in various forms and densities to block the view. A vehement explosion in the whole orchestra covers  over the music. At last fields of memories of the past are reached. Increasingly fragile musically depicted characters line the wayside. And slowly the music seems to return.



CTH 2589


Sechs Stücke für großes Orchester
NDR Sinfonieorchester
Dirigent: Christoph Eschenbach

Musik für Oboe und Kammerorchester
Albrecht Mayer, Oboe
Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchester
Dirigent: Peter Ruzicka

Erinnerung für großes Orchester
Wiener Philharmoniker
Dirigent: Christian Thielemann

The composer Peter Ruzicka (1948) was an expressionist from the beginning. Which doesn`t mean that he didn`t structure and plan his works, but the moment of communication, of empathy, also of narration  was always inherent in his works. The music carries the listener along, doesn`t confront him with hermetic construction, rather captivates  by a progressing of tension and above all by an affinity to arranging the material historically, assuring itself of it`s tradition without being traditional in a cheap sense. The first work of this recording is a good example of this. "Einschreibung" was created for the Mahler-jubilee year 2010 and relates to different works of this composer. It does this by making allusions to aspects of Mahlers pieces. For example in the first piece, to a series of intervals or a rhythmic motives of the Purgatorio movement of Mahler`s 10th symphony, or as in the second piece alluding to the first movement of Mahler`s seventh symphony. Ruzicka succeeds in bedding these allusions in his own language and present day idiom so that the impression is not aroused of his jumping on the running board of Mahler`s music. The same could be said of "..Zurücknehmen..": the dissonant chord at the beginning of Beethoven`s 9th symphony is not quoted, rather used as a sound shock, together with a literary allusion to Thomas Mann`s Faust novel. "Aulodie" is a welcome enrichment of the repertoire for solo oboe. The recordings have expansive depth and are well-balanced in all the instrumental groups. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is well equiped to interpreting with authority the various traditional connotations
of the music. 

Classic Today - Hartmut Lück (3.08.12)

Questioning Heritage
Unfortunately the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and conductors like Christian Thielemann do not perform present day composers often. When they do they are able to interpret sound and colour structures very subtly. As in the recording of PR`s "...Zurücknehmen..." , memories for big orchestra, (2009) marking the interpretative highlight of a thoroughly successful Ruzicka Portrait. As the title of the work suggests, Ruzicka creates music which makes general references to traditional music, attempting to rub them up and enter into their depths, all this in an expansive manner and with an effectiveness which one could almost call theatrical. Ruzicka, a pupil of Henzes and director of the Munich Biennale for modern music theatre, presents himself with this selection of his works as a knowledgeable, experienced artistic instrumentalist. This questioning of our musical heritage undoubtedly lies in the provenience of the Vienna Philharmonic: the works "Einschreibung"  for big Orchestra of 2010 and "Aulodie"  for solo Oboe 2011 are also characterized by these traditional references. The oboist Albrecht Meyer is very convincing in this piece, having a wonderful cantilene and many shades and facets of colourng.

Neue Zuericher Zeitung

Orchestral works Vol. I

NEOS CD 11045


VORECHO, Acht Ansätze für großes Orchester
NACHKLANG, Spiegel für Orchester
MEMORIAL PER G.S. für Orchester

NDR Sinfonieorchester, Conductor: Peter Ruzicka

Peter Ruzicka is a personality of which there are only a few in this generation. A prolific composer, talented conductor, successful manager and intendant - his many qualities bring quickly to mind his predecessor at the Hamburg Opera Rolf Liebermann who also combined similar abilites in his person. It is thus appropriate and agreeable that the NDR in association with the Fundacion BBVA under the label of NEOS is putting out a CD Edition of Ruzickas works.

The works presented here cover a period of ten years: from 1997 to 2006. "Nachklang" (1999) was written shortly after the opera "Celan" using orchestra passages from this work and developing new perspectives on the material, which appears in part to consist of conventional cadences. At first one is led to believe the CD is damaged, as the music rises again and again out of a void. The work "Vorecho", written in 2005/6 and divided into "scenes", Ruzicka describes as as a study for the opera "Hölderlin". It`s repetetive choral-like theme is similar to the main theme of Mahler`s 10th symphony. The piece "a memorial per G.S." is a kind of stele written upon the death of his friend Giuseppe Sinopoli in 2001. "Nachtstück" (1997) - the subtitle "abandoned work" is not explained in the booklet - is perhaps an intensification of the three preceeding works in a wonderful clearly-structured symphonic arch.  

Ruzicka's abilitiy to develop logical carefully worked out periods of tension,  even over long stretches, his raffinesse in the orchestration, his instinct for moods, for tension and relaxation, darkening and lightening, for planes of sound and noise, for the forming of melodies and contrapunct, for virtuosic and emotional shaping of moods in sound, for intimate and vehement eruptions - all this is explored in various ways in these four works presented here. The recordings of the NDR Symphony Orchestra under the baton of the composer are exemplary. The orchestra (not having presented CD`s for some time) appears in top form: it is clear that there is no need for an Elbphilharmonie to inspire top interpretations. The recording technique is very good, and the accuratesse with which Ruzicka interprets the pieces achieves the highest standard to which music of the late 20th and early 21st century can aspire.  

Interpretation: *****
Sound: *****
Significance of repertoire: *****

Klassik heute - Dr. Jürgen Schaarwächter, 16. August 2012

As has been demonstrated on many CDs, Ruzicka is a superb conductor. The orchestra is excellent, so we can assume the composer is getting evcrything he wants from these performances. The recorded sound is dark, reverberant, and lush. This is a magnificent disc.

Fanfare (USA), April 2012

Habakuk Traber


Peter Ruzicka. Eine Werkmonographie

ruz3 cov-frontPeter Ruzicka has many talents: scientific, humanistic, managing and creative. In the centre is his passion for composing.  This Monograph concentrates on his musical compositions. It is an attempt to follow his development from his early successes up until the present time in 2013. Ruzickas compositions dictate the organization of the book. The presentation follows neither the types of composition alone nor their chronology. His two main works, the operas CELAN and HÖLDERLIN form the focus of an ellipse, in which the topography of Ruzickas composing is exemplified. Biographical aspects are mentioned only when relevant to his music.

Wolke Verlag Hofheim 2013, 264 p.
for orders: versandkostenfrei bestellen
contents: Inhaltsübersicht

Orchestral works Vol. 2


ÜBER UNSTERN  Übermalung für großes Orchester
TRANS  for chamber ensemble
MAHLER | BILD  für großes Orchester

Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
Conductor: Peter Ruzicka

Coproduktion NEOS/DeutschlandRadio (March 2012)

Works for Violoncello

pr violoncello
...ÜBER DIE GRENZE  Concert for violoncello and chamber orchestra
STILLE for violoncello solo
NACHSCHRIFT for violoncello and piano
REZITATIV for violoncello and piano
Valentin Radutiu, Violoncello, Per Rundberg, Camerata Salzburg, Conductor: Peter Ruzicka
Coproduktion Deutschlandfunk Dezember 2012/März 2013

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