Johannes Maria Staud (1974)

Berenice – Lied vom Verschwinden (2003)

for soprano, small ensemble and tape

electronic work

  • General information
    • Composition date: 2003
    • Duration: 12 mn
    • Publisher: Universal Edition
    • Libretto (details, author):

      Durs Grünbein

Detailed formation
  • soloist: 1 solo soprano
  • 1 clarinet, 1 trumpet, 1 trombone, 2 percussionists, 1 piano, 1 viola, 2 cellos, 1 double bass

Premiere information

  • Date: May 2003

    Allemagne, Witten


    Petra Hoffmann, Klangforum Wien, direction : Emilio Pomarico.

Information on the electronics
Electronic device: sons fixés sur support

Program note

Berenice. Lied vom Verschwinden (Song of Vanishing) is the "aria" of a woman of unearthly beauty. She suffers from consumption which causes her to die, slowly but unstoppably.

The piece is a study for the full-length music theatre work after Edgar Allan Poe I am writing for the Munich Biennale (world premiere in May 2004). It is my first composition which integrates electronically generated sound with vocal-instrumental material.

Rather than fully embedding the tape in the texture of the ensemble and the soprano, I have endeavoured to make the two layers mutually enrich each other. I did not set out to demonstrate their incompatibility – on the contrary: they are meant to make a joint attempt at approximating a sound image (including spatialisation) which became more and more concrete during composition. This image could not have been realised exclusively through vocal and instrumental means.

Johannes Maria Staud.