Imposed works
For the instrumental sessions, candidates must study two new works specially written for the Queen Elisabeth Competition.


Imposed work for the final

After the semi-final, the finalists of the instrumental sessions are hosted for one week at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, in particular to study without any outside help an unpublished concert piece. This year, the composition of this work has been commissioned to Jörg Widmann. 5 Albumblätter will receive its world premiere on the first day of the final, on Monday 30 May 2022, at the Brussels Centre for Fine Arts. It will be interpreted by the twelve finalists, with the Brussels Philharmonic under the baton of Stéphane Denève.

The composer about his work :
My 5 Albumblätter are, as the title of each piece indicates, in homage to Robert Schumann. The most obvious reference is probably in the opening piece Adagio ohne Allegro, which alludes to a Schumann composition that is particularly close to my heart, the Adagio und Allegro for cello and piano. The same is true of the last work of the album, which is entitled Mit Humor (with humour), just like the first of Schumann’s Fünf Stücke im Volkston.
The second piece, Liebelei, is characterised by an obsessive staccato rhythm. The piece becomes freer and freer until it resembles a folk song, before returning playfully to the rapid staccato beat. Like a slowed-down melancholic yodel, the short central movement, Lied im Volkston is based on a recurring descending minor third motive. In the fourth piece, a bossa nova, Clara and Robert dance on an imaginary dance floor.
Aside from its dreamlike lyrical quality, what particularly fascinates me about Schuman’s music is its exaltation, incandescence, and youthfulness, especially in the music he wrote for cello. It was a joy to transpose that enthusiasm to the present, in my own musical language, in the knowledge that the music would be performed by young musicians, and that the pages would come to life through their fingers and in their hearts. I hope that the young cellists, the orchestra, and the audience will take great pleasure in discovering the different worlds of the 5 Albumblätter.’

Imposed work for the semi-final

Daan Janssens has written the imposed work in the semi-final of the 2022 Cello Competition. Wie aus der Ferne, for cello and piano, has been premiered on Monday 16 May 2022 at Studio 4 in Flagey. The candidates received the score of this work after the preselection.

The composer about his work :
"‘Wie aus der Ferne’ (As if from afar) is the heading that Robert Schumann gave to the penultimate piece in the Davidsbündlertänze sequence of pieces for piano. In his piano works, two musical characters alternate constantly : the impetuous Florestan and the more restrained and lyrical Eusebius. ‘Wie aus der Ferne’ is also the name of an air in the second act of Richard Wagner’s opera Der fliegende Holländer : in this duet sung by the Dutchman and Senta, the woman who will eventually free him from his curse, the characters sing side by side at the beginning, each expressing their own feelings. Little by little, the two vocal parts converge, merging at the very end of the duet.
When I was asked to write a piece for cello and piano, I drew inspiration from those compositions by Schumann and Wagner. At the beginning of the piece, the cello and the piano express two very different characters : the cello plays boisterous and unpredictable musical figures, while the piano is more controlled. Slowly, however, the two characters move closer to one another, finally merging completely in the last part of the composition."

The performances of the imposed works are broadcast on Belgian radio, television (RTBF & VRT) and are streamed live on our website. Both works will be released on CD and on the main streaming platforms.

The commissions of the imposed works were made possible thanks to the support of the Baillet-Latour Fund and Sabam.
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