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Thomas Larcher

Symphony No. 2, "Kenotaph"

Die Nacht der Verlorenen




Sleeve notes in English and German

World première recordings


November 2021

Catalogue No.:
ODE 1393-2


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Track listing

Symphony No. 2, "Kenotaph" (2015-2016)
I. Allegro

II. Adagio

III. Scherzo, Molto allegro

IV. Introduzione, Molto allegro

Die Nacht der Verlorenen (2008)
Alles verloren

Für Ingmar Bergman, der von der Wand weiß

Im Lot / Memorial

Die Nacht der Verlorenen / Das Ender der Liebe

So stürben wir, um ungetrennt zu sein

Also recommended...

Complete description

Austrian composer Thomas Larcher (b. 1963) is one of the great symphonists of our era. This album by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and conductor Hannu Lintu includes the first recording of his 2nd Symphony, ‘Kenotaph’, and the song cycle ‘Die Nacht der Verlorenen’ performed by the world-known baritone Andrè Schuen.


Larcher’s symphony was written in 2015–2016 to a commission from the National Bank of Austria for its bicentenary. The premiere was given by the Vienna Philharmonic under Semyon Bychkov at the Musikverein in Vienna in June 2016. Larcher’s work, originally intended as a concerto for orchestra, engages with tradition as a fertile background, while still embodying the sound and consciousness of our time. The subtitle to Larcher’s work was motivated by the painful awareness of the thousands of refugees who have drowned in the Mediterranean. The work can also be understood as a more general meditation on human tragedy and an exploration of profound existential issues. Larcher ties the material of the work together with a strong sense of dramaturgy, intense emotional expression and a feeling for musical narrative.


The song cycle ‘Die Nacht der Verlorenen’ for baritone and large ensemble sets fragments by Ingeborg Bachmann (1926–1973) that were posthumously published. Bachmann’s dark texts inspired Larcher to write intense and compelling music that is entirely in tune with the mood of the poems. Overall, the work is dominated by slow, meditative and often dreamlike and unreal moods, effectively underpinned by delicate and carefully designed scoring that conjures up a multitude of colours and shades.


Italian  baritone  Andrè  Schuen  has  won  equally high acclaim for his performances in opera, oratorio and Lied. Schuen graduated from the Mozarteum University in 2010. From 2010 to 2014 he was a member of the Graz Opera House ensemble, and since then has, among others, sung in the series of Mozart’s  Da  Ponte  operas  conducted  by  Harnoncourt  at  the  Theater  an der Wien, at the Teatro Real in Madrid,  in  Lisbon, at the State Opera in Hamburg, Bavaria and  Vienna.  Representing contemporary opera have been the premiere of Anno Schreier’s Hamlet at the  Theater  an  der Wien in 2016, and Thomas Larcher’s The Hunting  Gun  at  the  Bregenz  Festival  in  summer 2018. Schuen  has  appeared  in  concert  with many of the leading orchestras and conductors, and his regular partner in Lied is Daniel Heide.


Conductor Hannu Lintu was recently awarded with Diapason d’Or de l’année for his recording of Lutosławski’s Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3 (ODE 1332-5) with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in the category of best orchestral album of the year. The same album also received earlier a GRAMMY nomination. The previous year, in 2019, an album of new works by Kaija Saariaho (ODE 1309-2) received a GRAMMY nomination and that year, Hannu Lintu and the Finnish RSO also won the Gramophone Award and ICMA Award for the recording of Bartók’s Violin Concertos (ODE 1317-2) together with Christian Tetzlaff. The latter album also received a nomination for the 2019 BBC Music Magazine Awards. Recordings by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Hannu Lintu on Ondine have gathered numerous excellent reviews in the international press. Two of their recordings were nominated for Gramophone Awards in 2018. One of them, including orchestral works and songs by Jean Sibelius (ODE 1289-5) also won an ICMA Award in January 2018.

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