|Each period in music history has its particular
sound pattern. There is the colorful mixed ensemble, for example, which is typical for the
bands of the medieval ages, there is the string quartet of the Vienna School and there is
the rich sound of the sumptuously orchestrated symphony of the 19th century. In
contemporary music there are probably two predominant types: the instrumental solo and the
electronical music supported and controlled by the computer. The present CD's selection of
compositions it meant to give a taste of modern sound feeling and -in spite of the
profound differences in the composers' handwritings- it provides interesting clues about
artistical forms of expression today.
Klaus Hinrich Stahmer (*1941) with his "Marsiada" refers to the origin of the oboe from the aulos of the ancient world. Cleverly set interferences which are played on two oboes simultaneously paint a mediterranean background for the story: Marsyas, the satyr, picks up the aulos which Athene has thrown away and -full of high spirits- challenges the god Apoll to a musical competition. Stahmer's "Marsiada" is the piece of music which Marsyas could have played for this occasion. He first mocks his opponent with well tuned forths, but finally runs out of ideas. Stahmer writes in a playfully free style interspersed with rhetorical phrases.
Even though dealing with a similar subject the composition of Willi Vogl (*1961) appears to be much more rigorous. His "Judicium Paridis" (The Judgement of Paris) describes the characters of three godesses: Hera, queen of heaven and wife of Zeus, pugnacious Pallas Athene, and the charming godess of love, Aphrodite, who is known to finally have recieved the golden apple from Paris. Vogl applies a style which sounds less anecdotical than Stahmer's music, even though the contents are related. However, in spite of all formal strictness leaving only little freedom, it depicts three characters which can easily be assigned to the three completely different godesses.
Luciano Berio's (*1925) compository work is heavily based on his joy for technical experimentation. In artistical manner he "X-rays" and questions the technically possible (and impossible!) ways to play the oboe. The result is a piece of playful but meaningful music. Having gone critically through the serialism of the early 50ies in 1958 Berio started writing a series of short solo pieces of extraordinary difficulty, which since then have become standard repertoire for every ambitious instrumentalist. According to the composer the title does not refer to medieval sacred music, but is based on the fact that the music mainly contains harmonic sequences and different types of instrumental actions. In the "Sequenza" for oboe these playful actions unfold within a strict scheme like a verse of 13 "lines" of equal size to 13 metrically free bars of different duration. As an echo the note "b" is heard from the oboe.
Focus of Jürgen Schmitt's (*1954) music is the exploration of the limits of electronical music. A cleverly thought-out and sophisticated computer technology is combined with conventional sound producers (in this case the oboe) thus opening up a dialogue between man and technology. The "live" part in the "Mondlieder" always remains clearly noticeable an unadulterated intrumental solo, however, it gets life only from its relation to six sound tracks of a tape. These were developed electronically from a "raw material" of oboe sounds, which underwent a spectrum analysis like microcosmic particles and were then combined synthetically to a "second order" macrocosm. The oboe player mirrors himself in his own sound pattern, but at the same time experiences an alienation from what he is producing. Playing the "live" parts to the tape allows for a lot of creative freedom on the one hand but on the other hand calls for profound self-confidence and a lot of spontaneous reactive power of the soloist.
"Solaris" from Jocy de Oliveira, which is also a dialogue between tape and oboe, has a rather narrative character. The soloist has more freedom and far reaching possibilities to react to the tape, whose sounds are much more anecdotal, more natural and of epic narrative attitude. The listener can comprehend easily that it is a passage of a scenical opus ("Inori") which hardly can be classified according to any occidental genre like opera, dance oratory, or other musical forms. While Jürgen Schmitt focusses on rigorous penetration of small and smallest particles and while his compositorical strictness reveals the middle european mentored by Boulez' aesthetics, in Jocy de Oliveira's music there is the flow of natural spheres structured with phantasy and shaped by feminine attitude.
Translation: Claudia Engel