»Dédiée à tous les grandes violonistes que j’admire«

For violin and piano
Premiere: February 1981, in the Vienna Konzerthaus (Mozartsaal), played by the composer
Polish Premiere: Warsaw, June 1981
Duration: ca. 6 minutes

Audio sample:

René Staar - Hommage à un temps perdu op. 6


René Staar, violin
Harald Ossberger, piano
(recorded January 12th 1985 in the ORF-Funkhaus, Vienna)

 

Parodies often play a liberating role in Staar’s oeuvre, as loosening-up exercises between earnest efforts to find new ideas and noble metals deep in the »mine«, ideas that require a long time for their processing and evolution. The distancing from and parodistic doodling on well-known melodies, genres, or styles is in his Hommage à un temps perdu op. 6 rather subtly applied. The three parts (Air, Perpetuum mobile, and Rezitativo) of this homage to the great violin tradition of the 19th and 20th centuries are on the one had unchanged respective to the original characters. But their grotesque diminution and the rather artificial manner of articulation and phrasing make this potpourri appear parodistic. Staar says: »today, in 2014, this piece is like a distant memory of ideals dreamt of in the naiveté of youth, appearing through the filter of a very light irony«.

New harmonic connections evolve out of three different intervals first presented in the »Cadence«. These are combined with the assistance of the piano and then helped out with older song and dance forms such as Air, Habanera, Valse, and Zapateado. The »Petit Perpetuum mobile« provides a virtuosic conclusion to the work, which in its entirety intends to recall the great violin virtuoso tradition which, after two world wars, seems in Europe only a romantic memory. Is it then just a »lost epoch«, a time to which we no longer have any connection?