Music for Voices

Pleased to announce two new contributions of vocal music:
(1) Last year I dedicated a composition named Silbensalat to my son Lionel as a gift to his fourth birthday. The work comprises four canons in different combinations of voices, scales, and intervals, and is set to lighthearted texts about Lionel’s most beloved things and activities. Just in time before he turned five today, I finally managed to complete the sheet music of the pieces, which is available here.
(2) Fascinated by the delicate and imaginative music of singer-songwriter Eleni Irakleous aka Eleni Era, I recently arranged two of her tunes, »Beautiful Moon« and »Big Star«, for solo voice and SATB mixed chorus. Sheet music may be provided upon request. You can listen to the original songs here.

Trials and Loyalties

Next week will see Siegfried Mauser‘s appeal proceedings at the German Federal Supreme Court, of which a final judgment on his sentence in several cases of sexual misconduct is expected. Just ahead of this decision, publisher Königshausen & Neumann has pre-announced a commemorative volume to Mauser’s 65th birthday, co-edited by two close friends of his, Dieter Borchmeyer and Susanne Popp. Given that the preparation of this volume might have begun well before the time when Mauser’s offences were revealed to the public, it is unclear if the publication is intended as a sort of exculpation, or if the extensive list of contributors should be read as a list of Mauser’s partisans. In any case, publishing an article or composition in such a volume can be considered a supportive act, or at least a failure to distance oneself from the dedicatee as a public figure. Social media and blogs have begun covering the issue, including Alexander Strauch‘s thoughts on the possible purposes of the publication and an impudent rant by Theo Geißler, reviling Helmut Lachenmann, Manfred Trojahn, Wolfgang Riehm (sic!) and other contributors as »groping buddies«. A more deliberate assessment of the Festschrift and its scholarly value seems desirable, ideally in the shape of a proper review, once it is published.

The Sonata as an Ageless Principle

Dear folks, I am delighted to announce the open-access publication of my doctoral thesis. As of now, it is available via the online repository musiconn.publish, part of the Qucosa project of the Saxon State and University Library Dresden. You are welcome to read, download, and share the document. Please cite as follows:

Bitzan, Wendelin: The Sonata as an Ageless Principle. Nikolai Medtner’s Early Piano Sonatas: Analytic Studies on their Genesis, Style, and Compositional Technique. PhD dissertation: University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, 2018. —

RagTangles in Rectangles

Semester break is time for recreation and re-creation. Here is a little gimmick for you to keep in shape during the summer months. Proudly introducing a newly devised worksheet called RagTangles™, based on one of Scott Joplin‘s most popular compositions, The Easy Winners. Except the very first one, every ragtangle’s position is mixed up. Now it’s your turn to bring them in the correct order—but, needless to say, without checking the original sheet music first. Have fun!