Heute for soprano and orchestra (2005/06)

Text: Alois Hotschnig
Work commissioned by the Tonhalle Düsseldorf/Düsseldorf Symphony
WP: 10.03.2006, Düsseldorf (Germany) | Salome Kammer (soprano), John Fiore (conductor), Düsseldorf Symphony

Orchestra instrumentation
soprano solo; 3 (2. also piccolo)/3 (3. also English horn)/3 (2. also e-flat clarinet, 3. also bass clarinet)/3 (3. also contrabassoon.) – 4/3/3/1 – players (4 players) – accordion/piano/harp. – strings (14/12/10/8/6)

Programme Note

The texts are ‘distillations’ from the Austrian author Alois Hotschnig’s slip box – short sentences, shreds of thought, memories of dreams …

Accordingly, the texts often only provide impulses for musical developments.

The soprano voice is frequently utilized as the speaking voice. The work with recurring and transforming patterns in the (large) orchestra apparatus also corresponds to the often ‘claustrophobic’ character of the texts. The voice is partially covered up – suffocated – by the apparatus.

A quick ‘basic tempo’ characterizes the piece, which, as though against its own better judgment, resists the thoroughly dark character of the texts. At times the texts are driven forward almost breathlessly, with the orchestra serving as a great percussive machine.

Thus the piece is primarily a piece for orchestra, one which makes great demands upon the musicians. It is a ‘tour de force’ through nightmarish abysses, and therewith also through regions of the psyche which each of us has and senses subcutaneously …

Thomas Larcher