Elliott Carter (1908-2012)

Immer Neu (1992)

for oboe and harp

  • General information
    • Composition date: 1992
    • Duration: 5 mn
    • Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Detailed formation
  • oboe, harp

Premiere information

  • Date: 30 June 1992

    Italie, Sermoneta, festival de Pontino


    Heinz Holliger : hautbois et Ursula Holliger : harpe.

Program note

Immer Neu, the third part of my Trilogy for oboe and harp, composed for those great performers and dear friends, Ursula and Heinz Holliger, has as its motto the last two stanzas of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Sonette an Orpheus, II. 10.

Aber noch ist uns das Dasein verzaubert; an hundert
Stellen ist es noch Ursprung. Ein Spielen von reinen
Kräften, die keiner berührt, der nicht kniet und bewundert.

Worte gehen noch zart am Unsäglichen aus...
Und die Musik, immer neu, aus den bebendsten Steinen,
baut im unbrauchbaren Raum ihr vergöttlichtes Haus.

But existence is still enchanting for us; in hundred
sof places it is still pristine, A play of pure
forces, which no one can touch without kneeling and adoring.

Words still peter out into what cannot be expressed...
And music, ever new, builds out of the most tremulous stones
her divinely consecrated house in unexploitable space.

Each of the three sections of Trilogy was written for a special occasion. Immer Neu, is dedicated to Ursula and Heinz Holliger and provides a duet for them. Its outlook was suggested by Raffaele Pozzi who asked for the first performance at the Pontino Festival in June, 1992, a festival centered around a vision of the new that led so many beside Columbus to explore the world 500 years ago. In this piece each instrument in turn leads the other to a new tempo.

Elliott Carter.