"Aprèslude" (based on a poem by Gottfried Benn)

"Aprèslude" World Premiere on 24.4. 2016 by the Ensemble JungeMusik, Factory Potsdam at the Intersonanzen 2016 on 24.4.2016.

Gottfried Benn: Aprèslude

Diving you must be able, you must learn,
Once it is happiness and once shame,
Do not give up, you must not remove yourself,
When the hour came to light.

Holding, Harren, once sunk,
Once overflowed and once mute,
Strange law, there are not sparks,
Not alone - look around:

Nature wants to make her cherries,
Even with little flowers in April
She keeps her core objects
Up to good years.

No one knows where the germs are,
No one whether the crown once blooms -
Hold, wait, allow oneself
Dark, aging, Aprèslude.

Andreas F. Staffel
About my composition: Aprèslude No. I

For bass clarinet, horn in F, accordion, piano, violoncello, double bass
Duration: approx. 10 min.

The composition was created in winter 2015/2016 and is dedicated to the memory of the composer and conductor Pierre Boulez who died in January.

I chose the poem as a template for my piece, because in my opinion it fits very well to the dark timbres of the instruments selected here. The composition is three-part, in the middle is an extensive "Duocadence" of piano and accordion.

The music senses the morbid process of immersion and persistence (described in the poem). Thus, after an initially rapid beginning, dynamics and pitch are gradually lowered until a temporary break is established. Pauses and echo length mix with air noises at the limit of the pitch. After a short general pause, the tempo revives again, and the ensemble resonates to another summit. This is followed by an even deeper crash, the seething trillian and tremolo figures seismographically traced. Long lienotes dissolve slowly and mix to ever new combinations of very different instruments. After the cadence, the key part begins with a "Pizzicato Trio" of piano, cello and double bass. Little by little, all the players enter the game with fleeting, "cuddled" characters, leading to a collective glissando of all ensemble instruments. " The cello uses a bottleneck, the pianist rubs a glass bowl over the deep strings of the piano. The highlight of the composition is formed by repetitive clusters in four-fold Fortissimo in all registers. The epilogue once again describes the slipping and dissolving of the material. The winds murmur singular pieces of speech in their instruments ("Hold, wait, grant, dark, ...). The lowest notes of the double bass finishes the composition.

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