MUMUTH Aussenansicht | Wolfgang Hummer

2017: An Offer You Can't Refuse

The inclusion of the digital organ in the abo@MUMUTH programme has already become a tradition. This concert builds on that tradition, continuing the successful partnership between Werner Strenger and Gunter Rost, and introducing a new collaboration with the Austrian Brass Band. The ensemble, under the baton of Uwe Köller, will strike up a musical dialogue with the digital organ against the backdrop of the Godfather trilogy.

Sicilian mafia in America, brass and digital organ sounds, music from the traditional Bach chorale to César Franck and from Olivier Messiaen to swing – it’s An Offer You Can't Refuse...

Drama: Viet Anh Alexander Tran
Digital organ: Nikola Cerovecki, Jakov Spevec, Stjepan Molnár
Austrian Brass Band, conductor: Uwe Köller
Director: Werner Strenger
Set and costumes: Faniz Sadeghi

2016: Schlafes Bruder [Brother of Sleep]

On 4 May, in the MUMUTH György-Ligeti-Saal, organ and drama students will go in search of the allure of the “sound storms” in Robert Schneider’s bestselling novel. This concert also marks the opening of the Graz Orgelfrühling Festival.

Schlafes Bruder is a unique concert experience offered by the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz. Innovative organ sounds follow the vision of an absolute music formulated in Robert Schneider’s book of the same name. In the performance the university will take on the challenge of reproducing this literary image with real sounds. The organ is at the heart of the programme, reflecting the central role it plays for Schneider as the “queen of instruments”. Interspersed with literary extracts, it will give the audience an inkling of its impressive capabilities. The Schlafes Bruder concert is part of the innovative abo@MUMUTH, presenting the organ as an ultramodern instrument with the potential to produce sounds that will take audiences by surprise because they are unprecedented, in the truest sense of the word.  

Magdalena Wabitsch – drama
Aleksej Vylegzhanin – digital organ
Priska Petau – set and costumes

2014: Faust

The pact with the devil as a feast for the ears: brightly dazzling registrations alongside deep, dark tones. The highest keys on the manuals alongside the depths of the organ pedals. This is Petr Eben’s presentation of Faust.

Petr Eben (1929 – 2007) was commissioned in 1976 to write a musical stage setting of Goethe’s Faust for the 200th anniversary of the Burgtheater in Vienna. This composition, which is viewed as a central figure in contemporary organ music, was completed in 1980. The polarity between good and evil, which is the subject of Goethe’s text, is also depicted strikingly by Eben: solemn, dignified, classical tonality is juxtaposed with the trivial superficiality of a barrel organ. Thus, Eben gives a complex portrayal of the rapidly alternating contrasts that form the central theme of the drama.

Digital organ: Aleksej Vylegzhanin
Narrators: Dominik Förtsch, Christoph Radakovits

2013: Two spectacular new organs

Music in motion

Two significant new purchases by the KUG Institute for Church Music and Organ will be introduced to the public at the organ@MUMUTH concert on 28 January 2013. The two organs have a modular construction so they can be moved around – a first for Graz and unique among European universities. One of the instruments is also purely electronically operated, making it the only one of its kind worldwide to date.

Following an international call for tender (partly financed by an EU-funded organ research project), in 2011 the American firm Rodgers produced a digital organ that appeared to break with the instrument’s traditional role. Up to that point, organs had been inextricably bound by their immobility – usually located in a church. The “Schwarze Orgel” [“Black organ”] – as it is known at KUG – is the first in history of almost any size to be relatively easy to move from one location to another. It also challenges the traditional forms of sound production, relying completely on electronically reproduced tones. For example, the organist can choose the volume and spatial acoustics, as well as the spatial positioning of the individual sound events.

The purely mechanical “Weisse Orgel” [“White organ”], which relies on traditional sound production using wooden and metal pipes, has also been hailed by Director of the Institute, Gunther Rost, as a “masterpiece of the art of organ-building”. It was completed this year by the Slovenian firm Močnik, after a year of work, and can be disassembled into eleven registers for transport.

Johann Sebastian Bach: French Overture
Franz Liszt: Orpheus
Petr Eben: Mutationes for two organs
Johann Sebastian Bach: Allegro from Concerto BWV 1058
Naji Hakim: Arabesques
Robert Schumann: Sketch op. 58/I and Study op. 56/IV
Franz Liszt: Mephisto Walz no. 1.
On the new KUG organs: Gunther Rost and students Maria Krajewska, Stefan Nemtusiak, Aleksei Vylegzhanin, Bazhena Buka
Compère: Harald Haslmayr