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Work of the Week – Thomas Larcher: Love and the Fever

The rugged landscape of northern Japan as inspiration: the world premiere of Thomas Larcher's new work for choir and orchestra entitled Love and the Fever will take place at the Gewandhaus Leipzig on 10 March 2024. The piece was commissioned by MDR, the Bregenz Festival, the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra and the NTR Zaterdag Matinee. Dennis Russell Davies is conducting the MDR Rundfunkchor and the MDR Sinfonieorchester.

The 45-minute choral-symphonic composition is based on eight poems by Kenji Miyazawa. Larcher sets them to music in eight movements, which merge into one another attacca. One exception is the end of the sixth movement, The Morning of Last Farewell, where the music comes to a close before the seventh movement, Strong in the Rain, begins.

Love and the Fever by Thomas Larcher: Meditation in nature

Miyazawa recorded his poems in small notebooks while walking through the woods. In them, he not only expresses his passion for the harsh landscape of northern Japan, but also explores the death of his sister from tuberculosis. This illness was also to be his undoing.

Outside his home country, Miyazawa's works remain virtually unknown. I came across the English translations a few years ago and was fascinated by Kenji's meditations on mortality, which are reflected in his observations on nature. I dedicated the piece to Dennis Russell Davies on his 80th birthday. (Thomas Larcher)

The next performance of Love and the Fever will be at the Bregenz Festival on 5 August 2024. Petr Popelka will conduct the Prague Philharmonic Choir and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra at the Austrian premiere at the Festspielhaus Bregenz. The premieres in Amsterdam and Brno are planned for 2025 and 2026.

Further Reading:

Thomas Larcher: Composer Profile 

Love and the Fever: Work Details and Online Score   

Website MDR Sinfonieorchester 

photo: Eduardus Lee


Head of Promotion | Concert Opera Media Division

Schott Music Mainz :: Work of the Week, Composers and Repertoire