Johannes Maria Staud (1974)

Configurations/Reflet (2002)

for ensemble

  • General information
    • Composition date: 2002
    • Duration: 11 mn
    • Publisher: Universal Edition
Detailed formation
  • 1 oboe, 1 clarinet, 1 bassoon, 1 horn, 1 violin, 1 second violin, 1 viola, 1 cello

Premiere information

  • Date: 22 October 2002

    Allemagne, Berlin


    le Scharoun Ensemble de l’orchestre philharmonique de Berlin, direction : Henrik Schaefer.

Program note

The piece consists of several clearly differentiated sections of, in part, markedly varied durations. The three woodwind instruments and the horn on the one hand and the four stringed instruments on the other are grouped symmetrically in a radius around an imaginary mirror axis. The two disparate groups with their highly different instrumental characters are supported by two hi-hats and two bass-drums sounded exclusively by foot-pedal. The fact that this "low-tech" layer, whose sonorous quality cannot be modified, is set against the highly sophisticated sound-world of the wind and stringed instruments proved to be a fascinating compositional challenge for me.

I did not fall back upon cymbal tremoli to "mediate" between the two, no mallet sound to reconcile the different timbres, no tam-tams to provide depth or triangles to supply lighter sound colours – just two naked sound sources which can only be modified in their dynamics and in the contrast between dry and echoed sound: that is all to lend more plasticity to the musical argument. They do, however, trigger off some chain reactions of their own.

Johannes Maria Staud.