© Steven Prengels

Die Welt von Gestern und Morgen


Dream Play… An Introduction to Strindberg’s Dream Play… Irre… To the Journeyers to the East… To the Journeyers… The Glass Bead Game… Theme and Variations… Variations on a European Theme… Höchste Zeit, meine Damen und Herren, Höchste Zeit… Time Game… What happens?… Prelude and Fuge… Composition with Fuge… Fugatica… Reisen… Invention and Fuge… Landscape with Fuge… To the Journeyers… The World of Yesterday and Tomorrow.


When I was working on this new orchestra piece, I filled a little notebook with possible titles. Titles referring to many of my literary heroes: Hermann Hesse, Thomas Mann, … Only on the last page I scribbled the option I would withdraw: The World of Yesterday and Tomorrow. As a title it is in itself a small collage, echoing Austrian writer Stefan Zweig’s autobiography Die Welt von Gestern (The World of Yesterday, 1942) and German choreographer Pina Bausch’s dance piece Für die Kinder von Gestern, Heute und Morgen (For the Children of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, 2002). This way of thinking, of putting things together, is a working method that recurs in much of my work. It combines elements far removed from each other, placing them in a new context and thus creating new layers of meaning. Also in the composition itself, this process can easily be traced. Verdi, Bach, and even South African bishop Desmond Tutu are formed into a specific constellation. Sometimes hidden or delicately modified - sometimes bluntly out in the open and literally.

In 2012 I used Desmond Tutu’s voice in a dance performance of Belgian choreographer Alain Platel. For that occasion I rearranged - with the utmost respect - Tutu’s words and integrated them into a soundscape. Their eloquence, I think, is timeless and universal, and I felt strongly about reusing them today at the Music Biennale in Zagreb.


“I think you’re fantastic…

And I want to clap you.

I want to salute you!

For you are a fantastic bunch of human beings.



What happens?


You dream…

You dream dreams…

You dream dreams of a world…

But it’s amazing!

It’s amazing…”


(Desmond Tutu)


© Muzički Biennale Zagreb









special thanks.




Steven Prengels

Dian Tchobanov


Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra


Music Biennale Zagreb


Bérengère Bodin


28 April 2017