• Leon Kirchner
  • Music for Cello and Orchestra (1992)

  • Associated Music Publishers Inc (World)
  • 3(pic).3+ca.2+bcl.2+cbn/4.3.3.1/timp.3perc/pf(cel)/str
  • Cello
  • 18 min

Programme Note

Composer Note:

I find it difficult to write about my own music or to equate life’s experience with “creation”, but truly one cannot separate flow of reality from the creative world of illusion.

Working late one evening, I must have unconsciously reviewed the course that music has taken in the last several decades— from post-12 tone “serialism” to uncertainty principles, from comedy to minimalism, and on to the New Romanticism, from formidable titles to invisible content— all the while hearing the gradual disintegration of feeling and gestalt so important to Schoenberg, Bartok, Stravinsky and all the others. (Gestalt, or “Form Building” as Schoenberg called it, being the most vital characteristic aspect of musical art in the “Viennese Classic” and before, long before— that which gave music the possibility of endless interpretation and revelation in performance.)

And so I mused during the time I worked on my Music for Cello and Orchestra. It happened that toward the ending of this work a Bach-like chorale “appeared,” a haunting and retrospective moment (in my mind) that moved in a dream-like way through Wagnerian and Mahlerian space, a kind of recapitulation, not only of thematic and structural seeds the work engendered, but of that crucial time in our history in which some subterranean source had been blocked, leading us more and more rapidly shifting “styles” and the “overwhelming influence of chic” to the exclusion of feeling and gestalt. And so my music seemed to recapitulate the past momentarily in a personal effort to empower and alternative future— my fantasy, of course.

However, if words could explain or justify music then I shouldn’t have to write it. Art is difficult. Someone once asked Oscar Wilde what he had written that morning, and Wilde replied, “A comma.” The person went on to ask what he had written that afternoon, and Wilde responded, “I erased the comma.”

— Leon Kirchner

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