Ein Deutsches enigma : for violin
by Andrián Pertout (2000)
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"In the year 1828, on Whitsunday, in the city of Nuremberg, a neglected foundling was seized. He was later to be called Kaspar Hauser. He could hardly walk and spoke just one single sentence. After some time, when he had learnt to speak, he reported that he had spent his whole life locked in a dark cellar, and that he had not known that there were other human beings apart from himself, as his food was pushed in to him during the night, while he slept. He had not had any understanding of the world, and had not known what a tree, a house, or language was. Only at the very end had man come in to him. The mystery of his origin remains unsolved to this day." Werner Herzog, Everyone for himself and God against All (The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser).
Ein Deutsches Enigma or A German Enigma is a musical portrayal of the tragic story of Kaspar Hauser. Within the confined melodic space of Giuseppe Verdi's Scala Enigmatica and the brevity of the adventure presented by the very nature of its miniature form it attempts to travel the psychological byways of Kaspar's inner being. The cautious first steps become increasingly daring, and on the surface, the arrival to higher ground deceptively radiates stability, although behind the façade is actual instability and emotional turmoil. His enormous vulnerability is then ultimately manifested in the last pizzicato passage (a timbral variation on a fragment of the opening theme), where Kasper Hauser is yet again dealt the black card of life.
Duration: 2 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — Advanced student/professional.
First performance: by Erik Carlson — 31 Aug 05. Chez Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, USA
The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
Werner Herzog, The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974) Giuseppe Verdi’s Scala Enigmatica
Performances of this work
9 Feb 22: Tempo Rubato, Brunswick, Melbourne, Australia
5 Aug 2015: at In Limine Concert 1: Homage to European Classical and Contemporary Music (Richmond Uniting Church). Featuring Carmine Marcello Rizzi.
30 Aug 14: Festival Internacional de Música Contemporánea Ruid al Sud, Auditorium Victoria di San Juan, Universidad Nacional de San Juan, Argentina. Featuring Alessandro Cazzatto.
20 Aug 14: ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards, Collinswood, Adelaide
5 Dec 08: Koopman Commons, Hartford Art School, University of Hartford, West Hartford, Connecticut, USA. Featuring Chicago Miniaturist Ensemble.
31 Aug 05: Chez Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, USA. Featuring Erik Carlson.
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