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BCMG present Under the Stars

Thursday 20 August 2020

Free, No need to book

A fine summer breeze, stone arches framed by delicate trees, the warm voice of a cello …  join Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG) in Central Square, Brindleyplace for a magical evening of live contemporary music.

As a prelude to their forthcoming outdoor performance of Sternklang (Star Sound) in Hannover later this month, BCMG’s cellist Ulrich Heinen performs an enchanting programme, which includes Henze’s colourful Serenade and Stockhausen’s Zodiac.

Originally written for music boxes as part of the theatre piece Musik im Bauch (Music in the Belly), TIERKREIS (Zodiac) was developed as an autonomous work. Stockhausen said: “In inventing each melody, I thought of the characters of children, friends, and acquaintances who were born under the various star signs and studied the human types of the star signs more thoroughly.”

Each of the melodies has its own character, therefore, with its own central pitch. Aquarius (the star sign of Julika, Stockhausen’s youngest daughter, to whom he dedicated Musik im Baum) is the first piece, in E-flat; chromatically upward, Leo is in the middle and its central pitch is A. Nowadays, the melody from Tierkreis corresponding to the current Zodiac sign is played daily at noon on the 48-bell carillon in the tower of the Cologne Town Hall, as a tribute to the composer.

Ulrich Heinen

Hans Werner Henze, Serenade for cello solo (1949)
Bernd Alois Zimmerman, Four Little Studies for solo cello (1970)
Karlheinz Stockhausen, Tierkreis (1974), 12 melodies for cello solo (arr. U. Heinen)

This event is free and places do not need to be booked. Please be mindful of others and adhere to social distancing measures at all times. In case of adverse weather, the event will not go ahead.