Inner Antiphony

(2009) 13' / for orchestra and two percussionists

Inner Antiphony - fanfare for orchestra and two percussionists was commissioned by the Städtische Theater Chemnitz gGmbH and premiered on January 13th  2010 in the Stadthalle Chemnitz. The performers were the Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie under the direction of their chief conductor Frank Beermann and the percussionists Frank Lange and André Schieferdecker.

view score in issue 

Instrumentation

2(both picc).2.2.2.-4.3.3.1.- 2 solo perc. - timpani - strings (12.10.8.8.6)

  • percussion instruments:
  • timpani with: 4 timpani and piccolo timpani, piece of metal pipe (mini anvil), woodblock or piece of wood
  • 2 percussionists performing in front of the orchestra each with concert cymbals á due (rather small, ca. 12“ and 14“) piece of metal pipe (mini anvil) triangel snare drum (sticks and vegetable brush), flexatone, mouth sirene and together 1 large concert bass drum


programme notes
Fanfares are, as a musical genre, usually very short, quite loud, dense pieces with fast recurrent motives and have an effect heavy with associations; they inaugurate halls and festivals and celebrate jubilees and heroes. Inner Antiphony - hexatonal fanfare for orchestra and two percussionists, a commission from the Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie and its conductor Frank Beermann, clearly exceeds the usual duration of a fanfare, being 13 minutes long. Despite this, the other characteristic fanfare traits are applied: mechanical repetitive figures, open, parallel brass exclamations and a continuously fast pulse that almost vanishes in to the background again and again, without ever absolutely disappearing. This work will inaugurate not only a concert (in that Schumann’s Cello Concerto and his 1st Symphony will follow Inner Antiphony) but also the Schumann year 2010, which celebrates the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth.
For those seeking a relationship to Schumann, there are two to be found in Inner Antiphony, although the piece does not quote his music directly. I have already occupied myself with the composer-personality of Robert Schumann in my piece "Clara, Robert and Johannes – Fantasy about a love triangle for 18 musicians and a reciting trombonist"; his agile mental inner life particularly interested me. The antiphonal performance of the two solo percussionists with their interconnected rhythms that move back and forth could be viewed as a metaphor for the unsettled condition of such an agonised artist. Moreover, the sixth-tonal (hexatonal) pitch spaces that I used are similar to the harmonic world of our so-called ‘popular music’ in the same way that Schumann’s work related to the folk music of his time.


Inner Antiphony - live recording of the premiere performance

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