Editorial 2017

With the 29th TYROL EASTER FESTIVAL, Innsbruck and Hall will again be venues for international exchange for three whole weeks. The motto “new.departures” applies to a full programme of early and modern music, dance, performance, film and discussions. We are living in a time of change and to some extent of new departures, which will best succeed if we all pull together. That calls for respect and a spirit of understanding for others – as opposed to hate speech, mistrust and indifference.

In the run up to the TYROL EASTER FESTIVAL, organ recitals under the OrgelSPIEL label (on five Saturdays starting 11 March) and the Fifteen Venues (26 March – 9 April) will offer islands of peace based on texts and music – and an opportunity to pause and reflect in these hectic times. The be.sides series organised by Gerhard Crepaz provides inputs great and small to carry you off to forgotten worlds without consumerism and add depth to your understanding of the various items on the programme.

This year’s festival opens on 31 March with an unusual project: Boris Charmatz’ homage to the legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham, who played such a big role in establishing a new departure for the art of dance. The participants are dance enthusiasts from the Tyrol. Together they develop an original, humorous piece in the form of a photo novel about and for the America artist.

Strong emotions are expressed in the Passions (Passion Sunday, 2 April; Good Friday, 14 April) with two wonderful, yet rarely performed works by Georg Philipp Telemann and Alessandro Scarlatti. Telemann’s St. Mark Passion (conductor: Bernhard Sieberer) begins with the Mount of Olives scene and ends with the Crucifixion, with allegorical figures like Faith, Fidelity and Piety commenting on the action. Scarlatti’s St. John Passion – a little masterpiece of simple grace – will be conducted by Leonardo García Alarcón (premiere for the Tyrol). Judas, one of the most ambiguous figures of the Christian faith, is the subject on a number of evenings of music, film and a discussion (Palm Sunday, 9 April: Oh you poor Judas, PerSonat, Concerto Palatino; 11 April: discussion on Judas as a scapegoat).

Through dance, performance, film and theatre we also take a look at change and new departures in the Arab world. With the help of danced images, a documentary film and the unspoken, the audience’s attention is drawn to the situation in Syria (1 April: Déplacement, Mithkal Alzghair), Egypt (1 April: Forbidden, Amal Ramsis) and Iran (15 April: Hearing, Amir Koohestani).

Salvatore Sciarrino, who has made such a strong contribution to the renewal of contemporary music, is 70 this year. We are dedicating an evening to him with works ranging from his early years up to today, plus Morton Feldman (6 April: Ensemble Phace). Unfolding the senses is Sciarrino’s objective with his music, and the same applies to Georg Friedrich Haas. In in vain, he plays with darkness and the intensity of light and their influence on our perceptions (13 April: Windkraft, Konstellation, conductor: Kasper de Roo).

A new departure at the level of genre is the impressive achievement of the Belgian artist Thierry De Mey in his new piece. As a composer, film director and choreographer, he employs a fusion of genres – dance, live music (five musicians from the Ensemble intercontemporain) and lighting design. His objective is the beauty of expression, of gesture (8 April: Simplexity). The festival concludes as it starts: with Merce Cunningham. Together with works by Twyla Tharp and William Forsythe, his popular choreography (Sounddance) provides a fitting conclusion to the festival (Easter Sunday, 16 April: Ballet de Lorraine).

We wish you lots of enjoyment in your reading, listening and watching, plus stimulating shared experiences.