Alphorn concert from the highest roofs of Dresden
On September 12, 2020 at 5 p.m., the Dresden Symphony Orchestra will meet the challenges of the Corona pandemic in its own way with an unprecedented concert: numerous alphorns and other brass instruments will play from the highest roofs in Dresden, transforming the Prohlis district into a fictitious Alpine panorama. The composer Markus Lehmann-Horn has written a new work especially for this purpose, which, like the other pieces of the evening, breaks the narrow boundaries of the classical concert hall and brings people together. Already in the morning, the 33 musicians of the Dresden Symphony Orchestra will play in smaller groups in the courtyards of the residential district, inviting the residents to the free concert later in the afternoon.
Musical experiences beyond the mainstream
The setting is spectacular: sixteen alphorns, nine trumpets, four tubas and four Dà Gǔ drums fill an entire residential neighborhood with sound. At a height of almost 50 meters, on the roofs of four 17-story buildings, the alphorn players are positioned - each in a quartet in the tunings e-flat, f-flat and s-flat. On other high-rise roofs, trumpets and tubas provide further timbres and enrich the ensemble's playing possibilities. Acting as a sound base (and also spatially grounded) are four Chinese Dà Gǔ drums plus percussion - set up on the parking deck of the central shopping center. The music of this concert makes use of the spatial distance, several hundred meters between the players, the basic motif is the communication of the instrument groups. This is exactly what the alphorn stands for: the interplay over long distances in the mountains. However, we are in the expansive topography of a residential area - with imposing multi-story buildings, kindly made available to the Dresden Symphony Orchestra by Vonovia.
Unique and new concert format
'Himmel über Prohlis' plays an entire residential district. The spatial dimension of the event alone makes it possible for musicians and audience alike to keep the minimum distances in times of the Corona pandemic and to experience music live again. The goal is to make Prohlis "audible" for many people with unusual sounds. In doing so, the Dresden Symphony Orchestra picks up its audience where they are at home: on a walk through their neighborhood or on the balconies of their apartments. On the central parking deck of the PROHLISZENTRUM, there is also the possibility of taking seats from which the high buildings all around can be easily seen.
September 12, 2020
inner courtyards of the buildings around the PROHLISZENTRUM
About the DRESDEN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
This orchestra is unique. It is made up of great musicians from pretty much all the major European orchestras and only appears for specially initiated projects. Members of the Dresden Philharmonic and the Sächsische Staatskapelle make music together with colleagues from Berlin, London and Vienna. Ensembles such as the Kronos Quartet and the Pet Shop Boys, guests such as Katharina Thalbach, Kayhan Kalhor, Andreas Boyde, Peter Bruns, René Pape and Bryn Terfel have already performed with the Dresden Symphony Orchestra. The symphony orchestra has received many awards for its outstanding work, including the UNESCO Special Prize World Horizon and the ECHO Klassik.
Using music to work for a better world, for a fairer world - that is not naïve, that is an honest commitment, fed by sympathy for what is happening around us. True to the conviction that there is no such thing as alien suffering, the Dresden Symphony Orchestra has dedicated and continues to dedicate its projects to abuses and massacres, to what separates and denies, but also to what unites and unites.
(text by Michael Ernst)