Conductor: Antoine Marguier
Manuel Oberholzer (Feldermelder), electronics
Kathrin Hottiger, soprano
Vincent Casagrande, baritone
Choir: Chœur de Chambre de l’Université de Fribourg,
direction Pascal Mayer
Manuel Oberholzer (Feldermelder) – FINITE – World premiere
J. Brahms – Ein deutsches Requiem
November 18th 2023, 8pm
or on spot, on concert evening
Antoine Marguier, conductor
Antoine Marguier is the founder and conductor since 2011 of the Orchestre des Nations. With it, he has accompanied prominent artists such as Renée Fleming, Khatia Buniatishvili, Maxim Vengerov, Gautier Capuçon, Alexandra Conunova, Miloš Karadaglić and Pretty Yende.
As guest conductor, he have travelled across the world from Zurich, Paris, Lyon, Strasbourg, Monte Carlo, Maastricht and Amsterdam to Pristina, Tenerife, Durban, Bangkok, Seoul and Tokyo.
Upon graduating as clarinetist from the French National Conservatory of Music (CNSM) of Lyon, Antoine Marguier debuted in 1991 with the European Union Youth Orchestra and the Gustav Mahler Jugend Orchester, under the direction of Claudio Abbado.
At the age of 22, he was hired as bass clarinet soloist by the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. 16 years later, in 2009, Marek Janowski prompted him to dedicate myself exclusively to conducting.
He has also been teaching bass clarinet, then chamber music and orchestral excerpts at the Haute école de musique (HEM) of Geneva since 1997.
Manuel Oberholzer (Feldermelder), composer and electronics
Manuel Oberholzer (Feldermelder) is a swiss Composer, musician, sound designer and installation artist. Co founder of Encor.Studio.
Co founder of Zürich based label OUS Records
He delivers a wide array of performances i.e. the light synched show Erratic and hypnotic live multi speaker performances in different configurations. Besides that he can be seen on stages in duos with Julian Sartorius, Sara Oswald and the new project with Noémi Büchi ‘Musique Infinie’.
Kathrin Hottiger, soprano
Kathrin Hottiger is a Swiss soprano. In 2022, she performed as Zelmira in Haydn’s opera “Armida” as part of the Bregenz Festival. Her other engagements have taken her to various places, including Moscow, Washington D.C., Jerusalem, and Leipzig, where she collaborated with the Thomanerchor and the Gewandhaus Orchestra. She sang the role of Eurydice (Orphée et Eurydice) at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall and at the Komi Opera (Russia), Adele (Die Fledermaus) at the Neues Theater in Dornach, Fortuna/Damigella (L’incoronazione di Poppea) at Schloss Waldegg, as well as Amore (Orfeo ed Euridice), Venus (Venus and Adonis), and Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel) at the Luzerner Theater. Kathrin Hottiger won the third prize at the international competition for Baroque opera, Pietro Antonio Cesti, in 2018 and was a semifinalist at the Neue Stimmen competition in 2019. Her debut CD, “Mon amie la lune,” in a song duo with pianist Edward Rushton, was released in 2023 under the Prospero label.
Vincent Casagrande, baritone
Chœur de Chambre de l’Université de Fribourg
Directed by its founding conductor, Pascal Mayer, since 1987, the Choeur de Chambre de l’Université de Fribourg (CCUF) cultivates an extensive repertoire spanning from the Renaissance to the present day. With a focus on music from the last two centuries, the choir has premiered several contemporary works, sometimes commissioned on its own initiative. It also enjoys performing a lighter repertoire, ranging from folk songs to musical theater.
The CCUF is composed of experienced amateur choristers who meet strict vocal and musical requirements. They give numerous concerts a cappella or with the accompaniment of small instrumental ensembles and large orchestras.
Throughout its history, the CCUF has received several distinctions, including an “excellent” rating at the International Choral Encounters in Montreux, the first prize from both the jury and the audience at the National Choral Encounters in Charmey, and a second prize with an “excellent” rating at the competition organized by the Swiss Choral Union in Zug. In 2002, the choir participated in the Swiss National Exhibition “Expo 02,” where its rendition of Igor Stravinsky’s “Les Noces” left a significant and well-received mark. The choir has also embarked on various international tours, including visits to China, South Africa, and most recently, Hamburg.
Pascal Mayer, choir director
Finite : interview with the composer
The world premiere of FINITE has several intriguing aspects:
Firstly, it involves electronics used to expand the possibilities of acoustic music. Secondly, it features an instrument with the orchestra itself as its source. And last but not least, it combines programming and live interventions.
Far from subordinating the orchestra to an electro composition, sound landscaper Manuel Oberholzer, also known as Feldermelder, suggests reversing what is commonly observed in many hybrid projects. “I wanted to bring out the organic, acoustic aspect of the orchestra, with electronic music serving more as an instrument that supports the orchestra, rather than the other way around.”
4 Questions for Manuel Oberholzer (Feldermelder), composer of FINITE
ODN: Your work “FINITE,” in its world premiere, is an electro-symphonic encounter. How would you describe its concept?
MO: “Many projects exist where the orchestra ‘follows’ electronic music, and I wanted to create the opposite. I aimed to create a piece where voices and instruments are used more like synthesizers, and the orchestra mimics electronic music more. This means big bass, long notes, a style like arpeggios. I wanted to enhance the sampling aspect in the project’s composition, which is why the choir doesn’t sing lyrics. Everything is quantized, more ‘square.’ But as soon as humans play, there is more emotion. I wanted to bring out the organic, acoustic aspect of the orchestra, with electronic music becoming more of an instrument that supports the orchestra, rather than the other way around.”
ODN: To what extent can we speak of “augmented” music?
MO: “The goal is to use the orchestra’s sound as the source and re-synthesize it in real-time to turn it into an instrument. Like an additional section, but with the entire frequency range of electronic music. That’s where the approach differs from acoustic music because electronic music allows you to expand these possibilities. My goal is not for the orchestra to follow a rhythm, but for electronic music to react to the orchestra’s performance itself. This enhances the acoustic possibilities to become an element of the orchestra, not just a fusion of the two. In the end, it’s music.”
ODN: How would you describe your instrument?
MO: “I use digital effects but also modular synthesizers, which are like small pieces of an instrument. It’s like a synthesizer where you can choose the components to create a unique synth. Alternatively, imagine it as Lego pieces that you can use to build a more complex machine. I use this to incorporate the musicians’ performance, with one side involving programming that controls oscillators, and the other involving manual manipulations in real-time. It’s like an instrument, except that the source is the orchestra itself.”
ODN: What can the audience expect?
MO: “The idea is to maintain all the conventions to make it a truly enjoyable evening of music. An instrument that people are not familiar with, providing classical music with an augmented experience.”
The poster for this concert was created by Mathias Forbach, also known as Fichtre ! – Swiss artist multidisciplinary, illustrator, media designer, passionate about images, reading and music.