BOKEH

instrumentation two mandolins
finished 6 September 2010
dedication Caterina Lichtenberg and Mike Marshall
movements
length approx. 4 min.
first performance 7 November in the Bundesmusikakademie Trossingen by Caterina Lichtenberg und Mike Marshall
published at Joachim-Trekel-Musikverlag

“Bokeh” is a Japanese word meaning “blurry, diffused”. It it used to describe those areas of a photography that are intentionally blurred for artistic reasons.

BOKEH for two mandolins plays with this meaning. Many structures appear, which interfere with each other and make the music sound “blurry”. Motives arise from this, like the motif of a photography stands out against the blurry background.

BOKEH uses pentatonic elements found in Japanese music, and jazzy elements belonging more to the music of America. The borders in between are sometimes sharp, somtimes blurry, which adds yet another meaning to the title.


Canyon

instrumentation mandolin and mandola
finished 30 June 2004
dedication Christian Laier and Takaaki Shibata
movements 1. Vivo. attacca: – 2. Lento. attacca: – 3. Allegro
length 2:30 min – 2:10 min. – 2:20 min.
first performance 19 September 2004 in the evangelic church in Wickenrode by Christian Laier and Takaaki Shibata
published at Joachim-Trekel-Musikverlag
recording Christian Laier and Takaaki Shibata

The title refers to the musical language of the piece: the sudden changes of register and dynamics, the unisons and rests are inspired by craggy mountain forms. In between there are more plane sections like the theme of the second movement.
The harmony is based mainly on three elements. 1. tonal chords, freely put next to each other. 2. chromaticism and whole-tone scales. 3. stacks of fifths and tritones.

The first movement starts after a “musical full stop” a chromatic theme that is exposed in unisono and then repeated in each instrument. A second theme follows, free chords played by the mandoline and accompanied by the mandola with a prominent rhythm. Both themes are developed afterwards showing mainly their rhythmical and harmonical dimension. The movement ends after striking enmeshments more quietly with a recapitulation of the second theme.

A lying tone of the mandoline introduces the second movement. A cantilena with a slow harp arpeggio of the mandola appears. The cantilena is repeated less accompanied. Its second repetition divides the melody between both instruments, while the other one adds the missing tones to dodecaphony. A recitative follows and leads to the return of the opening melody. The movement ends with a syncopated flageolet of the mandolin.

The third movement begins turbulently with semiquavers in both instruments. The spirited rondo theme shows a little A major, that disappears quickly to make room for freer chords. The first by-section is a recapitulation of the main theme of the first movement. The rondo theme returns slightly changed. The cantilena of the second movement appears as a second by-theme in a shimmery bitonal version. At the end the rondo theme forms a coda that closes the piece virtuously.


Duetto Mobilé

instrumentation flute and guitar
finished 7 August 2000
dedication Michaela Heberer
length 1. Mäßig bewegt – 2. Recht zügig – 3. Wiegende Achtel, alla Siciliana – 4. Andante. Heiter, wie ein Tanz – 5. Ruhig
length 2:40 min – 2:15 min. – 2:30 min. – 2:15 min. – 2:35 min.
first performance 17 June 2001 music school “Leo Spies” in Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg with Ariane Zernecke, mandoline (playing the flute part)
published at

The opening movement is a moderato in ABA form. The main section refers somehow to C major, while the middle section moves through the whole circle of fifths. An important feature is the uniform accompaniment of the guitar in semiquavers with its many different changing notes.

The second movement is a lively scherzo, also in ABA form. The main part with its off beats and syncopes modulates from A minor to E flat major. The middle section follows, where the dotted rhythms of the flute are accompanied by the arpeggios of the guitar.

In the third movement, a siciliano in the characteristic 6/8 beat, an expressive melody develops while the guitar plays harmonies changing chromatically.

The main section of the fourth movement shows the unusual 7/8 beat. The middle section beginning in F sharp minor is more quiet and produces an elegant mood with its grace notes and inverted mordents.

The final movement is an andante in 3/4 beat, that has an ABA form as well. The main part plays a lot with changes between minor and major chords. In the middle part the guitar comes to the fore and presents a romantic melody that is discreetly accompanied by the flute and then adopted and expanded.


Four love songs after texts of Erich Fried

instrumentation soprano, three recorders and guitar
finished 25 October 2007
dedication Angela Bertus and Mareile Busse
movements 1. Nur nicht – 2. Aber – 3. Erwägung – 4. Was es ist
length 8 min.
first performance 27 April 2008 in the Magdalenen Church in Berlin-Neukölln
published at

The “Four love songs after texts of Erich Fried” originated from a suggestion of my good friends Angela Bertus and Mareile Busse.
The four pieces are based on different harmonic principles to give each song the contemplative, longing or glorifying mood that is described in the poems.

The first song “Nur nicht” often uses the whole tone scale along with diminished and augmented chords. Their use reflects the contrast between fiction and reality in the poem.

The second song “Aber” shows with its various parallels between the different parts the life’s journey of the two individuals and their changing relationship to each other.

In the third song “Erwägung” several sixth, seventh and ninth chords are used. Their shimmering colours reflect the consideration of different alternatives and their irrelevance shown in the text.

The fourth song “Was es ist” focuses with its chords of fourths, fifths and tritones on the ambivalence and fascination of love as the highest human good.


Kleine Machnower Musik

instrumenation mandolin, mandola and guitar
finished 26 December 1999
dedication Eva Frommbach
movements 1. »Die Hohe Kiefer«: Poco allegro – 2. »Das alte Forsthaus«: Andante brokato – 3. »An der Schleuse«: Andante fluente, Allegro giocoso
length 2:20 min. – 3:50 min. – 3:10 min.
first performance 6 November 2001 in the Curt-Sachs-Hall of the Music Instrument Museum in Berlin
published at

This composition focuses on charming melodies, not on strict development techniques, to meet the character of the dedicatee.

The first movement is a fresh allegro where several little themes move between the instruments. At the end after a mandola cadence everything merges into a little cantilena that forms the coda of the movement.

The second movement is characterised by a quiet melody shown in different moods and a polyphon middle section. The cantilene of the first movement enters this intimate mood (a bit extended and a half tone higher) to form a coda slightly ressembling a lullaby.

The third movement consists of a floating andante introduction followed by a bubbly main part. At the end again the cantilena of the first movement (another half tone higher), but this time in its complete form and in a very relaxed and triumphal version.

In 2001 the “Kleine Machnower Musik” won the second prize in the competition “Jugend komponiert” (Youth composes).


Quartet No. 1
“Manfred-Quartett”

instrumentation two mandolins, mandola and guitar
finished 17 July 1997
dedication Manfred Schmidt
movements 1. Largo. Allegro – 2. Menuetto. Trio: meno mosso – 3. Andante – 4. Rondo: Allegro scherzoso
length approx. 23:15 min.
first performance
published at

The quartet is geared to Viennese Classicism. A sonata movement with a slow introduction in C minor is followed by a speedy menuet with trio. The slow movement uses a more romantic style and its middle section works up material of the introduction of the first movement. The final is a big sonata rondo with two contrasting side themes.


Rapsodie in Gelb

instrumentation two mandolins
finished 8 November 2011
dedication
movements
length 3:20 min.
first performance
published at Vogt & Fritz (Aachener Mandolinenbuch Vol. 1)

The “Rapsodie in Gelb” is a contribution to the Herbert Baumann Composition Competition 2011. It was chosen among other pieces to be published in the Aachener Mandolinenbuch, a collection of easy pieces for mandolin learners.


Sechs Stücke
(Six pieces)

instrumentation mandolin and guitar
finished 14 September 2016
dedication Duo Consensus
movements 1. Vorspiel: Zart bewegt – 2. Sonatine: Lebhaft – 3. Romanze: Leicht fließend – 4. Fuge: Mäßig bewegt – 5. Rezitativ und Tanz: Redend, sehr frei im Tempo. Schwungvoll – 6. Nachklang: Stürmisch erregt
length 12 min.
first performance 25 March 2017 Duo Consensus in Weimar
published at

The second Viennese school was a decisive model for this composition. It consists of six shorter pieces composed according to Schoenberg’s method of composition with twelve tones only related to one another, also called twelve-tone technique.

The suite begins with a “Vorspiel”, in which various melodic fragments create a continuous increase in tension. At the climax of the movement, the chordal element comes to the fore before the music calms down at the end.
The second movement “Sonatine” presents two contrasting thoughts: a lively idea in eighth notes opens the sentence, the second theme moves more quietly with triplets in the accompaniment. Both are briefly developed, the recapitulation works with swapped voices and inversions.
In the “Romanze”, lyrical gestures prevail. A dotted motif is presented and developed. The expressive middle section works with iridescent chords and quasi-sequences.
The “Fuge” is strictly in three voices. It does not work with dux and comes, but the tones of the 12-tone row set the pitch of the next theme.
“Rezitativ und Tanz” merge into one sentence: The recitative forms the introduction to the following dance, which reminds rhythmically to a coarse polonaise, but is mellowed by fast, almost appoggiatura-like runs of both instruments. In the middle section, standing chord blocks in pianissimo produce an ethereal mood.
The “Nachklang” begins at the moment of extreme excitement. The music calms down more and more in a free rhapsodic manner, until the piece and work find a peaceful conclusion.


 

Small Sonata in A

instrumentation mandolin and guitar
finished 12 September 2003
dedication Edith Telschow
movements 1. Allegro moderato – 2. Serenade: Andante sostenuto – 3. Allegro ritmico
length 2:30 min. – 2:45 min. – 2:05 min.
first performance
published at

The sonata makes use of a post classical or post romantical style. Formally and gesturally it radiates simple elegance.

The piece begins with a sonata movement which captivates with its straightforward, almost aphoristic shortness. In the second movement the dreamy mandoline theme is accompanied only sparely at the beginning but later enriched with arpeggios. The middle section shows a theme in G major and a slightly faster tempo. The form of the third movement lies between a final rondo and a five part scherzo. It begins with a motor theme in the 7/8 beat, that shows suddenly the whole-tone scale. The middle section in 4/4 beat morphs the chords of the rondo theme and moves through the cycle of fifths, almost as freely as the first movement did.


Sonatine in G minor

instrumentation two mandolins
finished autumn 1995
dedication Marianne Schmidt
movements 1. Moderato, non troppo allegro – 2. Intermezzo: Adagietto – 3. Vivace
length approx. 8 min.
first performance
published at

String quartet
“Kleines Requiem”

instrumentation two violins, viola, violoncello, tubular bells
finished August 1999
dedication Kinderkrebsstation des Berliner Virchow-Klinikums
movements 1. Introduction – 2. Passacaglia
length ca. 22 min.
first performance
published at

The piece is based on experiences I made during my civil year at a Berlin hospital. The tubular bells and the mostly polyphone structure of the main movement represent the sacral character of the quartet and remind of the fact that some children are given strength not only by their parents and the hospital staff, but also by religion during their last difficult weeks.