Fasern for clarinet, violoncello, and piano (2006)

Work commissioned by the Mondsee Music Days
WP: 30.082006, Mondsee (AT), Mondsee Music Days | Martin Fröst (clarinet), Heinrich Schiff (violoncello), Thomas Larcher (piano)


Programme note
To me, the concept of “Fasern” (fibers) refers to compositional elements which are neither themes, motifs, nor rhythmic patterns, but are particular figures which can be variously employed and transformed and can provide a part with a certain texture, a solidity or also a direction, and thus have a significant influence on the form of the piece. I think that every composer uses individually developed fibers which are utilized again and again without it seeming that one composition resembles another. Fibers are, so to speak, integral parts of the muscular tissue of a work which indeed influence how the surface, the skin looks, but which do not determine the color and structure of the skin. In the particular case of the trio for clarinet, violin, and piano, it was surprising for me to see that certain fibers which had up to then frequently emerged in other pieces as manic and obsessive, here evoke a positive energy. In the piece, the first and last movements radiate a tranquility which is accentuated through the aforementioned strong bright energy of the middle part. A characteristic element of my music comes to the fore in this part: a lawless motor activity which engenders an electric energy in the listener through the tempo and the friction of unpredictable rhythmic figures. The generation of electricity in this way is only possible in the context of chamber music because a solo instrument cannot produce the different rhythmic levels (distinctly enough) while a larger group of instruments is not able to simultaneously execute the demanding, staggering tempo of such figures. Every composer is influenced by the work of other musicians. In this case, a possibility arose in the first movement to allude to one of them who has influenced me and still does. He is, in my opinion, one of the greatest composers of our time, but in spite of this, his works are unfortunately performed all too seldom in Europe. During his life George Crumb was someone who liked to integrate such allusions into his own pieces.

Thomas Larcher