Video on demand from 24 Jan 2020
available until 24 Jan 2025

Elbphilharmonie Sessions: Eva Reiter & Ictus Ensemble

»Darker than Black«: An Ode to Melancholy with Works by Thomas Hume and Burkhard Stangl.

In the Elbphilharmonie Recital Hall, the versatile artist Eva Reiter joins the Ictus Ensemble to perform pieces from their programme »Darker than Black«, which is devoted to bittersweet music from the Renaissance and the present day.

The Artists

Eva Reiter moves fleet of foot between two worlds, the past and the present. The Vienna native studied the viola da gamba and the recorder, both Early Music instruments, but has her roots first and foremost in contemporary music, in which field she has received several awards for her compositions. Together with Austrian soprano Theresa Dlouhy and the Belgian guitarist Tom Pauwels of the Ictus Ensemble, she combines these two poles in the production »Darker than Black«, forging links between the different periods. Eva Reiter was the Elbphilharmonie's Artist in Residence in the 2019/20 season.

None © Daniel Dittus
Eva Reiter Eva Reiter © Daniel Dittus

The Music

»Darker than Black« is a programme of eerie beauty about melancholy – or black bile, as it was known in earlier times. If there was an excess of black bile in the body, our ancestors believed that the unfortunate person would suffer from a so-called »languishing of the soul«. This gloomy state of mind is the subject of »What greater grief« by Tobias Hume (ca. 1569–1645) and »Nights« by Burkhard Stangl (b. 1960), both pieces whose lyrics are imbued with tears, sighs and melancholy.

The Location

With its undulating oak panelling and 550 seats, the Elbphilharmonie Recital Hall provides an intimate atmosphere and a warm sound. Unlike the Grand Hall, the room has a classic rectangular »shoebox shape«, and can be adapted for different uses. For the Elbphilharmonie Session with Eva Reiter, the Recital Hall was bathed in black-&-white half-light, perfect for the programme »Darker than Black«.

Elbphilharmonie Recital Hall
Elbphilharmonie Recital Hall © Gilda Fernandez

About the Series

Artists record exclusive music videos at the Elbphilharmonie and Laeiszhalle for Elbphilharmonie Sessions – sometimes in unusual locations offstage. Discover the concert halls from the inside. Discover what they sound like.

Text: Anastasia Päßler, Last updated: 24 Jan 2020

Photos: Daniel Dittus, Gilda Fernandez

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