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Orchestral Works & Chamber Music

NEOS 11120CD NEOS 11120CD

2012 release. "Gegenklang" (Counter-sound) was written in 2010 to a commission from the Tonhalle Society of Zurich and is dedicated to the cellist Thomas Grossenbacher, the conductor David Zinman and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich. My composition "Bergwarts" is a setting of the poem of the same title by the Swiss author Felix Philipp Ingold. The physical state of the language of this three-part poem evaporates gradually from strophe to strophe, while its content undergoes a converse process -- it densifies. My work endeavours to trace this phenomenon in musical terms. My second string quartet, "Guggisberg Variations," comprises seven movements. I here engage with what is perhaps the most heartfelt Swiss folksong, the "Guggisberg Song." Under the title "The Loneliness of the Shepherd," this minor-mode melody found its way into the song collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn that was edited by Clemens Brentano and Achim von Arnim. The six variations all refer to the folksong, each in its own manner, and employing a broad spectrum of expressive possibilities. "Poeme lunaire" was written in 2008 to a commission from the viola player Michel Rouilly. It is dedicated jointly to him, Bettina Sutter and Hans J. Bar. The shimmering opening bars prepare one's ears for a vortex that is nourished by a constant intensification of motives, harmonies, metres and actions, and finally climaxes in a whirl of noises. The ensuing cantabile sequences dissolve into a barren close that makes use of natural tones and micro-intervals, both in the viola and in the piano. In my music for orchestra, "Klangbogen," different sound fields develop out of a single thread of sound. The contours of these sound fields gradually become clearer through the use of rhythmic structures. At the same time, their organic growth is disturbed by a series of short, external interventions. After a final such break, the music stands still and a process of dissolution is begun. By means of micro-intervals and natural intervals (quartertones, fifth-, sixth- and twelfth-tones), the harmony is expanded to create a sublimity in sound. The music is dominated by a broad spectrum of multiphonics and fragile sounds, and the orchestration is thinned out more and more until only a single, lonely solo cello remains. Performed by: Thomas Grossenbacher (cello), Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, David Zinman (conductor), the Ensemble Amaltea: Sylvia Nopper (soprano), Isabelle Schnöller (flutes), Keiko Yamaguchi (violin), Judith Gerster (cello), Eva Schwaar (piano), the Amar Quartet: Anna Brunner & Igor Keller (violins), Hannes Bartschi (viola), Peter Somodari (cello), as well as Michel Rouilly (viola) Bettina Sutter (piano), Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Michael Sanderling (conductor).