HAAS: In Vain
Emilio Pomárico, conductor
Described by Simon Rattle as ‘one of the first master works of the 21st century’, In Vain was written for the 24 musicians of Klangforum Wien, the benchmark ensemble from Georg Friedrich Haas and one of today’s best contemporary music chamber orchestras. Haas was quick to understand that the notes a piano was offering him did not represent all the heights that could reasonably be applied musically. The use of microtonality becomes perfectly audible in In Vain, and the way in which Haas contrasts the use of different harmonic materials ends up forming the narrative of the work itself, where the rhythmic aspects are practically limited to accelerations, decelerations and abrupt stops, infusing the listener with the magnetism of the sound matter. Haas also defines the lighting in the score of In Vain, leaving the hall completely dark after the first section, making the light emerge gradually from the darkness, to relentlessly return to the darkness of a mystery that remains in the memory of the listener.