Wunde | Wunder

7 Fragmente

op. 73, 2017/18

I. Ich bin
II. die Schöpfung
III. die Wunde
IV. der Ungläubige
V. die Bereitschaft
VI. die Transformation
VII. die Seele der Rose

For percussion solo and ensemble
Duration: 24 min.

Commissioned by the Bavarian State Opera
World premiere: 4 March 2018, Allerheiligen-Hofkirche, Munich. Percussion: Claudio Estay, Chamber Ensemble of the Bavarian State Opera, conductor: Konstantia Gourzi.


Composer’s notes

Wunde | Wunder, 7 Fragmente (“Wound | Wonder”, 7 Fragments) is a musical reaction to the State Opera’s topic of the year, “show me your wounds”. This concept is layered with meanings – in literature, the visual arts, music, the Christian tradition, and so on. I decided to go back to the core of it all and ask “what is a wound, how is it seen and what happens, once one has taken account of it?” This third step, the question of after the wound, after pain, is what fascinated me most. Wounds and wonder – in German, these two experiences only differ by one letter of the alphabet.

I took inspiration from three pictures: Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam” (1512), Caravaggio’s “The Incredulity of St Thomas” (1603), and John William Waterhouse’s “The Soul of the Rose” (1908). Three poems were also sparked by these pictures, composed by the writer Ioanna Bourazopoulou and myself at the start of this work.

The dramaturgy of the composition is like an internal dialogue for the soloist, evoking different stages of consciousness in sound. There are seven pieces with seven different sound concepts, played one after the other, as if they were one piece. The first situation flows into the next, like action and reaction, as if the music and the soloist are looking for liberation and deliverance. The names of the movements form a programme for the work.

The music begins with a cadenza from the soloist, which puts the self to the fore right from the beginning. Strong, furious rhythms and melodies and atmospheric sounds are created between the ensemble and the soloist, and form a musical dialogue of the self and its “wounds”. The question of whether a wound can lead to wonder is considered musically and dramaturgically throughout the piece.