Johannes Maria Staud (1974)
... gleichsam als ob ... (1999)
- General information
- Duration: 17 mn
- Publisher: Universal Edition
- Commission: Département Arts du BKA
- Composition date: 1999
- Instrumental ensemble music [Triple wind orchestra (or larger)]
- 3 flutes, 3 oboes, 3 clarinets, 3 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, 5 percussionists, harp, piano, organ, 14 violins, 12 second violins, 10 violas, 8 cellos, 6 double basses
20 September 2000
Autriche, Schwaz, Tennishalle
l'Orchestre symphonique de la Radio de Vienne, direction : Dennis Russell Davies.
As I began to write this programme text, I was (once again) faced with the well-known dilemma that all composers are acquainted with: How can I convey the quintessence of this work to the listener in a few words? How can I briefly express something in writing that took me nine months of work to put into music? Am I, as the composer, even detached enough to write objectively about my own work?
It seemed that the only possible way to approach this task would be from music theory. Thus I could talk about the composition, for example, as characteristic harmonic progressions; about the centralisation of the harmony in the first movement and its flexibility in the second movement; or perhaps, instead, about the Fibonacci-numerical row, which is the basis of the larger formal plan as well as of the rhythmical structure of the smallest musical detail. Of course, this aspect influenced the overall plan and my concept of orchestration, which aimed at the concrete and wide-ranging expression of individual ideas, as well as the clarification (and even the destruction) of larger formal processes. But there is not enough space in this introduction to discuss these aspects thoroughly. I will therefore limit myself in the following to some general remarks about the work.
The choice of the title stems from the desire not to burden the perception of my music with a pre-determined complex of ideas. Like a parable, I have indicated the possibility of non-musical associations which could occur to the listener as he hears the piece. This should emphasize the purely metaphysical nature of the music whose "meaning" is not merely a mirror of reality. At the same time, it would be dishonest not to admit that non-musical events and experiences during these nine months affected and thus (probably unconciously) exerted an influence on my work - not the least: my anger about the formation of this new, completely intolerable Austrian federal government.
Nevertheless, I would ask you to accept my work for what it is – namely music! Composition itself is a process of the abstraction of an autonomous model, transforming even the most concrete external impulse until it isn't even recognizable. This is absorbed into a whole which would never have been created in this form otherwise (and hence owes its origin to that impulse) but on the other hand, results solely from compositional, musical logic.
Johannes Maria Staud.