The first movement, Und sie gruben (digging)
refers to the poem Es war Erde in inhen
by Paul Celan, which makes use of the geminatio rhetoric figure. The verb gruben
(to dig) is repeated, combined and used thru the entire poem, giving it an organic structure. The music is constructed following this idea, both from the parallelism concept-music material (a musical gesture which repeat note, very rhythmical and articulated, as someone digging) and from the the idea of an organic structure, thru the repetition and transformation of the gesture throughout the movement.In Lob der Ferne
, Celan enriches the theme of love and distance by contrasting a series of images, as an oxymoron (we separate intertwined, I am you when I am me
, etc.), which give these words a certain sense of flow, transmission, liquid. This second movement translates this idea by enriching the pieces of an expressive melody with sonorities of flow such as the glissandi, a broad vibrato, string changes and wide intervals.
Lastly, the third movement, Mandorla
, is composed after the homonymous poem. Celan uses this geometric figure, probably remembering its occasional use in romanesque Tympanums, as a reflection of nothingness and at the same time the infinite, where the possibility of creation occurs. Musically, I choose to build this infinite, mystical space where nothingness and creation coexist, through repetition. Elements that tear the discurse, as in the poem, make sound this dichotomy.
Winner of the 2020 O/Modernt Composition Award.
Separate violoncello part included.
Recording: Ulrich Heinen, cello and John Reid, piano
Video: Bart van der Roer (piano) and Claude Frochaux (cello). From the O/Modernt Festival in Stockholm, Sweden