Kanten. Konturen for Clarinet(s) and Accordion (2018)

Instrumentation: Clarinets (1 player with Bb-Clarinet, Bass Clarinet and Contrabass Clarinet -ad lib.-), Accordion

Duration: ca. 13 Minutes

Commissioned by Duo Stock/Wettin for the project RaumFarbKlang – Feininger now! with support by the “Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien” (Fonds zeitgenössische Musik) and the Culture Foundation of the Free State of Thuringia.

WP: Jena, 19.10.2018 (Susanne Stock/Georg Wettin)

Publisher: Schott Music

Further performances: Erfurt 20.11.2018, Weimar 25.10.2018, 18.12.2018, Apolda 26.10.2018, Altenburg 24.2.2019


Almost all of my compositions have an extra-musical point of reference that leaves its mark on sound, dramaturgy or structure. Kanten. Konturen for clarinet(s) and accordion is based on Lyonel Feininger’s paintings, which have fascinated me since my childhood. The piece consists of five sections, which refer to certain pictures or work cycles of Feininger. Three of them are directly related to Thuringian motifs (the Gelmeroda series and the Barfüsserkirche in Erfurt), one is inspired by Feiniger’s numerous sailboat paintings and one has a particularly clear reference to the Bauhaus (Nächtliche Straße, an urban nocturnal street view). The musical reaction to these works, however, is rather indirect and reflects my personal impressions and associations: the clear, sharp light beams that Feiniger throws at the medieval Barfüßer church, the surprising roughness and dramatic impression that he gains from the Gelmeroda village views, the Mediterranean lightness of the sails against a blue background, the urban melancholy of the nightly house facades. Each section has its characteristic basic sound, whereby the “Thuringian” pictures have a certain relationship to one another. The parts form a continuous cycle that can be entered at each section start. In addition, repetitions of two of the sections (played on a different clarinet type) can be inserted. Through the various registers of the clarinet instruments and the numerous registration possibilities of the accordion, the sound shifts constantly in octaves up or down. With this conceivable simple means, every “picture” is illuminated in ever new variations, and the freedom of the order results in a different overall dramaturgy in each performance, so that the “second look” at a (presumably) familiar situation plays a special role.