A novelty in the history of the 4020 Festival, which is now organized entirely by the Brucknerhaus, was a Long Night of World Premieres, which ideally placed the creative potential of young composers in the focus of a quite large audience.
A total of 18 premieres were on the program of the four-hour marathon, which showed the diversity of the domestic and international composer scene and revealed trends. Especially since all 17 creative minds presented on this evening studied (d) at the Anton Bruckner Private University and could thus perhaps be a source of inspiration for one another. On the one hand, the spoken word was the focus of many works. Both chanted live by the musicians, but also recited through playback, which also expanded the acoustic environment of some compositions.
On the other hand, one felt transported to the 19th century of program music, since many works had an extra-musical input, not only because of their literary quotations, but also through concrete imagery that the titles suggested. It doesn’t matter whether it was Eichendorff’s moonlit night moods or imaginary lines that made borders realistically tangible. The stylistic means were widely spread, from solo music for cello, horn and percussion to different ensembles.
From scenic actionism including dance to traditional chamber music, from comedic laughter pieces to no less tongue-in-cheek but existentially serious confrontation with the death of a cactus. A lot of new music, little that is actually innovative, but everything on a very high level and inspiring the audience, who stayed until the end.
It was particularly pleasing to meet the 15-strong Linz ensemble for contemporary music “Lizard”, which was founded in 2020 by composer Katharina Roth in the vicinity of the Anton Bruckner Private University and performed excellently under the direction of Nicholas Reed. Musicians have come together here who do not just complete New Music as a compulsory exercise, but who actively support the best possible implementation of the not always easy-to-read scores. Absolutely harmonious, highly professional and in all respects outstanding in terms of sound. Such an ensemble had been missing in Linz for many years. “Lizard” could competently fill this gap.