{An arrangement of nine pieces from the 30 Miniatures op. 26}

Premiere of the version for string orchestra: June 2008 in Schloss Hof
Duration: ca. 11 minutes

I Dance of the Koldunian Warlocks
II Dice game in Skopje
III South Slavic Leaping Dance
IV City man’s wooing song for a country girl
V Lullaby from Mostar
VI Night Music of the Smyrnian Smugglers
VII Dolls’ Dance
VIII Dracula’s Love Dance
IX Horó in Bulgarian Style

a: first version for septet (clarinet, harp, and string quintet) Score (Extract, Pdf)
a': second version for septet (clarinet, piano, and string quintet) Score (Extract, Pdf)
b: version for string orchestra Score (Extract, Pdf)
c: concert version for piano Score (Extract, Pdf)
d: version for orchestra (work in progress)

Audio samples:

René Staar - Würfelspiel

Nr. II Dice game in Skopje (version for orchestra)
ORF-Sinfonieorchester, René Staar

René Staar - Wiegenlied

Nr. II Dice game in Skopje (version for string orchestra)
Fritz Kreisler Ensemble

René Staar - Wiegenlied

Nr. V Lullaby from Mostar (version for string orchestra)
Fritz Kreisler Ensemble


About the Balkan Mosaic

After several successful performances of what were at first miniatures for two violins (from the first book of my violin method) I decided to arrange nine of these in various versions for concert performance. These versions—the first a septet for string quintet, clarinet, and harp; the second for string orchestra; the third for piano; and the fourth for large orchestra—present variants of the materials from the selected duets, albeit in considerably different durations and with differing content. They include harmonic metamorphoses, formal restructurings, more complex contrapuntal processes, and precisionings of the rhythmic structure that were not at hand in the 1974-76 originals.

Each of these versions has been worked out in an individual way. The original duets became a quarry of materials for lighter compositions. Apart from weightier concepts I have been continually haunted by the idea that one could with the means of the musical avant-garde also create an entertainment music, trying out a modernization—if not indeed a revolution—of what currently exists (see also POP revolution). This work presents one of the many possibilities I have thought of for reaching this goal. {Translation: Jorge E. López}