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On demand: Gruber's Northwind Pictures

KonserthusetPlayRecorded at Konserthuset Stockholm: Stora Salen, Stockholm, Sweden
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Gruber, HK (b. 1943)Northwind Pictures

The Austrian composer, vocalist and conductor HK Gruber has an incredible ability to charge his music with surprising elements. He recently turned 75, and was in focus at the 2017 Stockholm International Composer Festival at Konserthuset Stockholm. In this concert video, he leads the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in his fascinating orchestral piece Northwind Pictures.

In Gruber's 2005 comic opera Der Herr Nordwind, a poor farmer battles against a type of weather god, Herr Nordwind, who is destroying the crops. A surreal fight with magical elements plays out between the farmer, nature’s gods and a religious order. The orchestral piece Northwind Pictures is based on music from this opera. One of the starting points for the piece was the “windiness”, so a wind machine is included in the instrumentation along with a variety of unusual percussion instruments - and even a few music boxes with twirling ballerinas.

Northwind Pictures is a symphonic poem and a concert for orchestra with many chances to showcase musical virtuosity for the entire orchestra. 

Filmed in November 2017.

 

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