This collection of short pieces for strings was conceived for both advanced teaching purposes and equally for use in concerts with uncommon combinations of instruments.

The collection carries the opus no. 27. The Roman numerals after the opus no. refer to the number of players (I = Solo, II = Duo, III = Trio, etc.), the capital letters to the same or different instruments (A = the same instruments, B = one other different instrument, C = two other different instruments, etc.), the Arabic numerals to the number of the particular piece.

 

Study for solo viola »Harmonische Varianten« [Harmonic Variations] op. 27 I No. 1

»Für Petra Ackermann«

composed on 3 September 2018 in Meggen (Lucerne)
For viola solo
Durations: 3 minutes

This study is entitled »harmonic variations« because a specific harmonic development is presented in three different variations. A three-part chromatic motto with an upbeat serves as the point of departure for these differently organized variations, during the course of which two additional elements, the tritone and diminished seventh chords, gradually acquire greater importance.

 

Study for solo cello »Anstachelung« [Incitement] op. 27 I No. 2

»for Tamás Varga for his 50th birthday«

completed on 15 August 2019 in Vienna
for solo cello
Duration: 5 minutes

The piece is based on the idea of developing a harmonic space that expands from microtones (and more specifically quarter-tones) and through chromaticism to diatonicism and beyond.The composition proceeds from three distinctively different sound spectra: the bow stroke, the pizzicato, and using the fingers to strike the strings and fingerboard. Accompanying these tonal parameters are dynamics and the variable use of microtones, which are formally organized in melismatic and march-like parts. The basic character of this piece is an inciting Agitato.

 

Study for 2 violins »Duel between two violins« op. 27 II A No. 1

»To Heinz Hanke and his wife Jutta as small offering on their wedding day«

A scenic realization is possible, following instructions of the composer.

For 2 violins
Duration: ca. 2 minutes 30

 

Study for 2 violas »Ostinato Figures« op. 27 II A No. 2 (2015)

For 2 violas
Duration: ca. 1 minute 30

 

Study for cello and bass »Study in different Patterns of Movement« op. 27 II B No. 1 (1994)

Fo cello and bass
Premiere: 1996, Vienna, with Philipp von Steinaecker and Michael Seifried
Duration: ca. 3 minutes

 

Study for three cellos »Drei wandernde Augengläser« [Three wandering spectacles] op. 27 III A No. 1

completed during August and September 2019 in Vienna
for three cellos
Duration: ?

I decided to call this study »Three wandering spectacles« because while the structure of the piece mostly consists of homophonic harmonic progressions, its notation in the score tends to confuse with alternating voices.

The underlying material of this piece can be divided into several basic structures that almost predetermine its musical form. Formally, the final result is similar to sonata form with several thematic formulations, although there are also some notable differences. To begin with, the contrasts between the themes appear strangely subdued. Moreover, sections of the exposition and the development can hardly be identified because the main intervallic cells inhabit the space between chromaticism and diatonicism. Like flowing water, the character of triads is in a state of permanent change, which encourages us to abandon our preconceived notions of major and minor modes. The piece begins and ends in three voices. The only contrast is found in the two different kinds of texture: the equality of three voices versus the separation into two subordinate voices and one main voice.

 

Study for 2 violins and viola »... und mein Schatten ringt mit deinem Schrei ...« op. 27 III B No. 1 (2017)

For 2 violins and viola
Premiere: April 4, 2018, Koll Trio, in the Gläserner Saal of the Vienna Musikverein
Duration: ca. 4 minutes 45

The title of the work is taken from the poem »Finsternis« [Darkness] by Paul Celan, written in 1941. The poem speaks of painful loss in times of violence, and culminates in the line that was chosen as the title of this piece. This line of poetry is ambiguous. A scream implies the reaction to an act of violence, and evokes associations such as the cry of pain, the cry of horror, the cry of death. The shadow, in turn, has something to do with the past and with transience. So, if the poet says »my shadow« and »your cry,« it means that there must have been a person close to the author that was apparently abused. Whether this person still exists or not, however, is not mentioned. The »struggle,« on the other hand, suggests that the emotional overcoming of this event is still ongoing. So we have a very personal and painful, probably often recurrent, memory of a traumatic experience. The »and" was deliberately added to the title to further emphasize the ambiguity of the line: an ambiguity that leaves room for a wordless music of painful sensation.