for large orchestra
First prize at the composition competition of the Hochschule für Musik Köln.
premiere: May 2009 at the Hochschule für Musik Köln
conductor: Michael Luig | Orchestra of the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln
The piece refers to „Ein Heldenleben“ by Richard Strauss
duration: 10 minutes
What kind of a hero is in „Heldenleben“ by Strauss? Who is actually heroic nowadays and in what context can heroes survive?
The more such questions are raised, the clearer it becomes that heroes are merely a product of the media, and we can choose to believe them or not. But heroes are created not only at light-speed, but also randomly, uncontrolled. Constant remains only an urge, a motor, a need for heroicism.
This is where „Crack“ begins, creating a musical context, in which the musical goal is the treatment of fragmentation and lack of control. The mainspring of the piece is in the title:“Crack“ means break, but also strength, because “ cracks “ are unbeatable in their fields of expertise.
Adulatory gestures and solistic commentaries prevail throughout, simultaneously being musical material, thereby fluctuating in their function. Techniques bordering on impossibility are constantly centre stage and create a direct relationship between sound and the physical energy required to produce it. The whole piece therefore becomes extremely physical , questioning the relationships between strength, heroicism and futility.
The conditions musically described by Strauss in „Heldenleben“ are anchored- logically-in „Crack“: its instrumentation exaggerates „Heldenleben´s“ stereotypes , though focussing primarily on Strauss’s mixtures of tone colour; the unperformed feat of Strauss’s hero becomes the central event in „Crack’s“ undoing.