Humanity has reached the 21st century, but have we approached the understanding of the divine, have we established harmony with the world? The theme Song of the Earth of the Stiftfestival 2022 questions human self-confidence and its place on this earth. The iconic, both fascinating and moving 'Vox Balaenae' by George Crumb, who died this year, is inspired by the almost unearthly song of the whale. The musicians have to be masked to minimise human influence and are bathed in blue light.
A new piece 'Blue in blue blue' by Maxim Shalygin, commissioned by Stiftfestival, is dedicated to George Crumb and expresses the composer's perspective on the phenomenon of 'Vox Balaenae'. The new work is in line with Shalygin's previous works in which he reflects on world problems, such as climate change, Covid-19, the life cycle, and the vulnerability and responsibility of our generation. In an audiovisual work Angel (2020) the whale image is combined with the background of an archive video of nuclear tests on Bikini Atoll. In Severade (2021) audio recordings of a crying baby resonate with a singing whale
First performers: Daniel Rowland & Tim Brackman (violin), Floor Le Coultre & Dana Zemtsov (viola), Maja Bogdanovic & Pieter de Koe (cello), Nicholas Schwartz (contrabass), Anthony Hewitt (piano).