Solo Works I

NEOS 11709CD NEOS 11709CD

Unaccompanied solo pieces, like those brought together on the present CD, are in a category by themselves -- for instrumentalists and composers alike. Nowhere else is the musician left on his own to such an extent, left to his own devices. Moreover, there are often special technical difficulties; since the advent of virtuoso performance, the solo piece has always been a preferred venue for stupendous, exposed virtuosity. Such works for a single interpreter play a major role in the oeuvre of Marcus Antonius Wesselmann, already in a quantitative sense with 19 compositions so far. The composer, who lives in Cologne, has consistently explored the possibilities of various ensemble types and sizes in a body of work that has grown steadily over the past thirty years. Alongside a series of ensemble works, he has repeatedly written solo pieces for various instruments, so that today there is a nearly equal balance in his works catalog between ensemble and solo compositions. With the exception of the piano works ("SOLOS 5", "6", "7", "9", "14", and "16"), Wesselmann has so far chosen a different instrumentation for each work -- here flute, percussion, electric guitar, viola, baritone saxophone, or bassoon in the mix, composed in 1991, stands somewhat apart from the series of works introduced on this CD, for this composition for two-channel tape requires no performing soloist. Wesselmann is essentially concerned here -- according to his own formulation of the basic idea of the piece -- with the "connection and/or mediation of musical and scenic sequences." "SOLO 1" features Helen Bledsoe on flute; "SOLO 2" features Dirk Rothbrust on percussion; "SOLO 3" features Mats Bergström on electric guitar; "SOLO 4" features Garth Knox on viola; "SOLO 9" features Simone Otto on baritone saxophone; and "SOLO 10" features Johannes Schwarz on bassoon.