23 Mar 2019

Helmut Lachenmann in conversation with Sarah Willis (17 min.)

In March 2019, Sarah Willis was one of the soloists in a performance of Helmut Lachenmann’s composition My Melodies for eight horns and orchestra with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker. In this interview feature marking the occasion, the Philharmoniker’s horn player asks Lachenmann how the piece was created and whether he found the sound that he had in mind during the creative process while rehearsing with the orchestra. With regard to the title, inspired by Frank Sinatra’s My Melodies, the composer tells how for post-war avant-gardists such as his teacher Luigi Nono, melodies were considered politically suspect, and how he nevertheless invented his own form of lyricism. As we learn, for Lachenmann, composing and listening to music is always an adventure that rejects the rituals of materialist entertainment but can still provide joy and happiness.

The concert