First performance: 6, May 2011, Witten, Festsaal
Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik 2011
Choir director: Walter Nußbaum
Soloists of Ensemble Modern
Based on Friedrich Schiller: Über die ästhetische Erziehung des Menschen (German)
One day, I picked up Schiller’s Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man and these two sentences formed the creative impulse: ‘Live with your century, but do not be its creature; render to your contemporaries what they need, not what they praise.’ A further passage also caught my attention: ‘No doubt the artist is a child of his time, but woe to him if he is also its disciple or even its favourite.’ These two sentences were the reason for creating this work […].
During the compositional process, I imagined a situation in which speakers stood on podiums to ‘instruct’ their audiences. I combined eight pairs, each consisting of one voice and one wind instrument which together perform the text. The two percussionists supervise the cohesion of the musicians and act as signallers rather than providers of rhythm. The accordion takes on the function of creating a tonal space and its sound is amplified and distributed via loudspeakers. The style is almost austere and dispenses with any form of romanticism. There is no rubato and no digression. It is almost like march music but in threefour time.