lullabies for three flowers
op. 82, 2019
I. lullaby for a rose
II. lullaby for a windflower
III. lullaby for jasmine
For violin and string orchestra
Duration: 7 min
Commissioned by Niklas Liepe for the project #GoldbergReflections
CD-Recording for Sony Classical, February 2020
Orchestra: NDR Radiophilharmonie
Violin: Niklas Liepe
Conductor: Case Scaglione
Publisher: Musikproduktion Höflich München, Repertoire & Opera Explorer, Gourzi Edition
Lullabies for three flowers is inspired by JS Bach’s “Goldberg Variations”. The soloist Niklas Liepe had the idea to commission a work with this connection, for solo violin and string orchestra.
Bach wrote his aria and ensuing variations for Count Hermann Carl von Keyserlingk. He wanted some music by Bach to help him sleep. Bach’s pupil, Johan Gottlieb Goldberg, performed the piece for him in the evening, which is how it later got its name.
The peace and resonance of the Goldberg Variations moved me to write lullabies for three flowers. Also because of climate change, nature constantly evolves. It has to act, and grow, differently. It is also more and more important that we protect it. Flowers, trees, the oceans, the sky, and us human beings are all experiencing a new age. My three compositions are intended to make us more sensitive to the flowers, and thereby to the feelings of respect, compassion and care. We should not destroy nature; we must admire it, treat it gently, and realise how important and necessary it is for us – by its beauty, too. A lullaby is the perfect form for this, because it radiates trust, warmth and security.
In compositional terms, the themes of all three pieces flow quasi-horizontally along the same plain. Delicate melodies and rhythms intertwine and create a particular atmosphere and harmony, which connects the three lullabies together.
The interpretation of this music lies in the vitality of every single note, and the close interaction between the solo violin and the orchestra. The musical phrases between solo and orchestra are connected throughout each lullaby, so that there is no gap in the sound. Sometimes this sonic universe is evoked by the soloist alone; sometimes, in dialogue with the orchestra. The search for, and production of the right sound requires more virtuosity than the music’s technical demands.