Directed and hosted by John Kennedy
New sounds in music
Georg Friedrich Haas’s 70-minute in vain (2000) has been described as a monumental work of our time. Tones cascade in microtones and harmonics—rising, falling, spiraling—folding back upon themselves and crashing to points of stasis. Composed in part as a protest to the rise of the far right in Austria’s 1999 elections, Haas’s work brings the concert hall to darkness while the orchestra remains playing. If futility is an aspect of social progress, in vain reminds us that light returns after periods of darkness.