A Capricious New Duo

Finally finished engraving my recent composition, Capriccio spirituoso for recorder (or flute) and piano, a piece that seeks to combine traditional harmony with a somewhat sophisticated approach to motivic work and form. The rather ambitious solo part was commissioned and supervised by my dear colleague Simon Borutzki, whose appealing virtuosity I will be fortunate enough to rely on for the forthcoming premiere. Everybody else is invited to access and check out the sheet music via IMSLP.

Music for my Children

After my previous attempts to compose music for my children had all turned out too complicated, I tried again and produced a little song without words, dedicated to my daughter and son. It is to be performed on their respective instruments, harp or guitar. Also, there is a version for piano. If you think it might suit your children or pupils as well, feel free to get hold of it! #musicforchildren

Gender Strongholds in Orchestras

There are 129 professional orchestras in Germany. According to a recent survey conducted by the Deutsches Musikinformationszentrum, most of the orchestras have significant gender imbalances among their employees, which vary strongly depending on the instrument, rank, and income level. The largest disparities appear in the tuba section (98.1% male) and harp section (93.7% female). To raise awareness of this issue, I am considering to compose a duo for a female tuba player and a male harpist in which both performers are also required to sing while playing. The piece is envisaged to incorporate a musical reference to Josquin Desprez, commemorating the 500th anniversary of his death. Anybody interested in receiving the dedication?

Triadic Transformations

I made a short analysis video on Carlo Gesualdo‘s Miserere from his Responsories for Holy Saturday. The chord progressions at the beginning, enriching modal harmony with chromaticised voice-leading, can be regarded as transformations according to Neo-Riemannian theory, and made visible as triadic relations in an Eulerian Tonnetz. This is a rather simple yet fascinating example that suited me well for a first approach to teaching transformational theory.

Also, for those of you who are interested in my compositions, there are some new recordings available on SoundCloud: a folk song duet from my Lyric Diptych for two voices and piano, and two excerpts from the suite At the Forest Verge for guitar and marimba duo.


Aria and Fughetta after Bach

During the last days I made a three-part keyboard arrangement of the final aria Drum schließ ich mich in deine Hände from Johann Sebastian Bach’s motet Komm, Jesu, komm, BWV 229. This aria is one of my all-time favourite chorale settings: It features cadences in no less than five different scale degrees and culminates in a marvellously ornated concluding melisma. The Baroque lyrics by Paul Thymich figure as a deeply touching embodiment of poetic devotion to the creator in the face of death—and this is why I chose to perform the music at my grandmother’s funeral earlier this week. Subsequently, I replenished the composition with a brief fughetta on the subject of the aria’s first line. Hope you won’t mind the sad occasion of its genesis and enjoy the piece anyway.