spätes Früh for three baritones and ensemble (2001)

Text: Gösta Neuwirth

Instrumentation: 3 Bar, Fl, Perc (2), Pno, Vl, Va, Vc, Cb

Publisher: Schott Music

Duration: ca. 13′

Commissioned by Roland Hermann and the Ministry for Science, Research and Arts of the State of Baden-Württemberg. Dedicated to Roland Hermann for his 65th birthday.

FP: 1.11.2001, Berlin (nonpublic), 8.4.2002, Karlsruhe (Roland Hermann/Locky Chung/Herman Wallén, ensemble “Klangwerkstatt Karlsruhe”, Cond.: Titus Engel)


spätes Früh
was commisioned by Roland Hermann and the Ministry for science, research and art of the state of Baden-Württemberg; it is dedicated to Roland Hermann on the occasion of his 65th birthday. It’s him I owe the suggestion of using Gösta Neuwirth’s fascinating, at the same time clear-arranged and highly complex prose poem “Erinnerungsgeräusch” as a textual basis, which itself includes a dedication to György Kurtág.

The musical setting follows the textual structure: by assigning the three levels of the poem (Abraham and Isaac, Oedipus and the Sphinx, Budapest during World War II) to the three vocal soloists, which are connected to a stable instrumental partner themselves, a quite simple framework arises which allows to lead the inner relations and details of the composition to a level of high complexity. Pre- and reviews, several layers, changes in the connection between instruments and singers and a chamber-musically intimate, sophisticated writing build up an entity which goes beyond a simple ’setting’ of the poem. Although superficial effects are avoided, the piece contains brillant, colourful and rhythmically powerful passages.