Evil Elves: Level Eleven for saxophone quartet and orchestra (2019). World premiere*
Symphony No. 6 in A major WAB 106 (1879-81)
Bernhard Gander’s elves have a dark side: The typically delicate, airy creatures become angry hulks dressed in leather and rivets who indulge in heavy metal orgies on apocalyptic volcanoes. This piece, commissioned by the Gürzenich Orchestra, is a frenzy of metric and rhythmic extremes and the uninhibited lust of sound, and at the same time reveals a dark and enigmatic side. Bruckner’s Sixth, albeit no less mysterious, floods the space with rays of warmth despite its bright tonality. It draws endless arches, and the slow movement is a quest for eternity. Incidentally, Bruckner described this symphony as his most ‘perky’. For François-Xavier Roth, another piece falls into place on the way to completing his concert and recording cycle of all Bruckner symphonies.