12

Choral

for voice and five instruments
1991 | duration: 8'

Commissioned by the city of Schwäbisch Gmünd
Soprano, harp, violin, viola, violoncello, double bass
Premiere: Johanniskirche Schwäbisch Gmünd | 24.08.1991
Sinfonietta Tübingen, Stefan Blunier

The chorale is the epitome of everything religious, sublime, ritualistic and archaic … – My music addresses that which could today perhaps be understood, and/or not understood, as sacred music from various perspectives (history, aura, material, compositional technique). I composed Choral in 1991 for the »Festival of European Church Music« in Schwäbisch Gmünd.

  • CD Musica sacra nova II. SDR SACD 9027-3. 1992.
  • CD Michael Reudenbach. Szenen, Standbilder. Werke 1991–2009. Edition RZ Berlin, Reihe »Parallèle«. 2013.
  • Arpad Dobriban. In aller Stille. 16-mm-Film. 1992.

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23

Noch nicht – Nicht mehr

for voices and CD
1998, revidiert 2014 | duration: 13'

Commissioned by the Vocalensemble Kassel
Soprano 1 – 3, alto 1 -4 , tenor 1 – 3, bass 1 – 3 (one or several singers per part)
Premiere: Martinskirche Kassel | 13.06.1998
Vocalensemble Kassel, Hans Darmstadt

»Nonetheless: even if we are condemned to fail in the end, like the wise and the scientists, we are still capable of playing with our own failure.« (Vilém Flusser) The contradiction formulated in this sentence perhaps led me to a score in which »chance [could] by chance turn into intention«. Consequently, the role of the singers is uncertain, and the musical realisation of Noch nicht – Nicht mehr is not so much to be sought in a strict adherence to the notation. Rather, there should be an exploration of the luminous wealth of sound offered by the human voice, a finding, selection and exploitation of the diverse individual expressive possibilities ranging from ***, breathing, air noise, …, whispering and speaking to humming and singing. In the process, it is not the absolute that is to be looked for, but that which is in-between, in a sound environment that is not unfamiliar yet changeable, unstable. I composed Noch nicht – Nicht mehr in 1998 for the Kasseler Musiktage festival, which had the theme »Visionen gegen die Zeit« (»Visions against Time«).

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27

Abdruck

for five speakers, 41 instrumentalists and CD
2000-01 | duration: 13'

Commissioned by hr Frankfurt am Main
5 spkrs. - 2.0.3.2. - 0.2.2.1. - 0.3. - hp. pf. - str.: 0.0.10.8.6
Premiere: Broadcasting hall at Hessischer Rundfunk Frankfurt am Main | 09.03.2001
Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt, Sian Edwards

The notion behind Abdruck was to write a piece that engaged with both the possibilities and the impossibilities of an orchestral apparatus. In this situation, the contradictory character of the »Abdruck« (Eng.: imprint) becomes apparent: the contact with the source (the foot pressing into the sand) and the loss of the source (the absence of the foot in its imprint). What one hears aspires to both conditions: on the one hand, the concentration on a few single sounds and noises and, on the other, their absence in the ever-increasing level of noise in our environment that swamps everything. During my work on Abdruck, I by chance came across an exhibition catalogue with the »Wandabnahmen« by Dorothee von Windheim.. There, I found her reference to the »wall passage« from Rainer Maria Rilke's diary novel »The Notebooks of Malte Laurid Brigge« that I use in my piece.

  • Konzertmitschnitte hr 2001 und SWR 2006.
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28

kommen – Überschreibungen für 5 Stimmen


2001 | duration: 13'

Commissioned by Schola Heidelberg
Soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto, tenor, bass
Text: Text: Emma H., Prinzhorn Collection Heidelberg
Premiere: Prinzhorn-Museum Heidelberg | 13.09.2001
Schola Heidelberg, Walter Nußbaum

In 1909, Emma H., who was ill with schizophrenia and catatonia, wrote several letters to her husband and pleaded with him to take her out of the psychiatric clinic. In several columns, she pencilled single words over one another in tiny handwriting (»kommen«, »komm« or »Herzensschatzi komm«, …). The words can now barely be deciphered anymore, but in their variation between density and lightness, they draw the viewer in with almost physical power. Everything heard in my piece is connected in various ways with these obsessive »overwritings« (Ger.: Überschreibungen) by Emma H.. However, I was not interested only in an expressive interpretation of this directly moving source material. Rather, I deliberately tried to circumvent it and modulate it, thus venturing into regions that can no longer be subsumed under any direct form of expression. I composed kommen – Überschreibungen für 5 Stimmen for a concert given for the opening of the museum housing the Prinzhorn Collection in Heidelberg.

  • CD Michael Reudenbach. Szenen, Standbilder. Werke 1991–2009. Edition RZ Berlin, Reihe »Parallèle«. 2013.

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37

Madrigal

for ensemble
2005-06 | duration: 14'

Commissioned by the Wissenschaftsstadt Darmstadt
Soprano, bass flute, baritone oboe, contrabass clarinet, bass drum, piano, violin, viola, cello
Premiere: Orangerie Darmstadt | 06.08.2006
Petra Hoffmann, Ensemble recherche

In general, it could be said that the act of listening to music is always an act of permanent remembering, as music being played is transience itself and the past and the future combine as the present while it is sounding. While working on Madrigal, however, I looked for musical, compositional possibilities that can trigger memories going beyond the fundamental act of remembrance involved in listening to music. My piece refers to and draws on Antonio Tabucchi's catalogue text »Messaggio dalla penombra« (»Message from the Half-Light«) about pictures by his painter friend Davide Benati. In this text, Tabucchi addresses the barely communicable transition between »eye open/eye closed«, that short moment on the brink of disappearance and the shadowy memory associated with it.

  • Konzertmitschnitt SWR 2006.

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47

5 Raumetüden

for voices
2015-16 | duration: 14'

Commissioned by Klangforum Heidelberg
Alto, 2 tenors, 2 basses
Premiere: Tankturm Heidelberg | 26.02.2016
Schola Heidelberg, Walter Nußbaum

Much of the 5 Raumetüden (Space Studies) consists of verbal instructions. The performance space plays a role as a space per se, as do the conditions under which music can be made in particular performance and listening venues. Because I was preoccupied with both of these aspects in 2015 in view of a large-scale commissioned work that I was to write, these études are to be understood in their original sense as »studies« within a compositional process. Their individual titles (Linie – quer – Modulation – unendlich – Messung) [Line – Oblique – Modulation – Infinite - Measurement] are a mixture of geometric and musical terms. I wrote the 5 Raumetüden for the Schola Heidelberg on the occasion of their moving into their new domicile at the Tankturm.

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50

Was noch.

for 24 voices with texts by Jürgen Becker
2023 | duration: 36'

Commissioned by the SWR for ECLAT – Festival Neue Musik Stuttgart
soprano 1 – 6, alto 1 – 6, tenor 1 – 6, bass 1 – 6
Premiere: Theaterhaus Stuttgart | 03.02.2024
SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart, Einstudierung: Michael Alber | Szenografie: Hans-Ulrich Becker

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