My interest in »light music« has, in different forms, had a continuous influence on my work. I have always been fascinated by the musical styles of different cultures, such as jazz, tango, or rebetiko. Some of this certainly rubbed off from my father, who worked over decades in the field of entertainment music and in my childhood often took me to hear gypsy bands, and who himself played jazz and music from eastern Europe, as well as pop hits and Wiener Lieder.

My father was at the same time a fan of the modern avant-garde (Stockhausen, Ligeti, etc.) and had therefore the firm conviction that all of popular music was in need of renewal. He was therefore interested in genres such as free jazz or rock music which used experimental methods.

I have repeatedly felt drawn to this and I can recognize in my work a series of pieces that approached such a POP REVOLUTION. These can be divided into different types: parodies, and then pieces that were inspired by other music. But some of my other compositions as well did not remain untouched.

 

PARODIEN

Parodies were particularly in my early phase part of my composing activity. Pieces such as April or Hommage à un temps perdu op. 6 use quotations or stylistic layers from so-called light music or from earlier stylistic periods. A return to this kind of composing (as well as a commission) led to the piece A Mirage turned upside down and also the last movement of Time Recycling op. 22n, written for the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

Both the Sarasatiana Pieces for violin and string orchestra as well as the Paganini Variations have to do with the parody genre, even though many compositional elements come from Staar, whereby the pieces actually become new works.

 

BALKAN MUSIK

Collaboration with Tibor Kováč’s ensemble The Philharmonics led to the creation of several works inspired by music from the Balkans, including also arrangements. Here one should mention Balkan Mosaic, at first harmonized and arranged as a new version of older violin duets, then worked out in versions for string orchestra, piano, and large orchestra, as well as the Sephardic Airs (inspired by Greek and Albanian folk songs), and Les Deux Diables, a modern Romanian Hora.

3R1S (three ragtimes and a samba) was produced for a performance by the musician families Koncz and Ottensamer in the Vienna Musikverein, and arranged for three clarinets, violin, cello, and piano.