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”Der Knacks”: Jan Müller-Wieland’s Melodrama to be Premiered in Bonn

Jan Müller-Wieland, who lives and teaches in Munich as a professor of composition, has written several contributions to the genre of the melodrama. Now, at the Beethoven Festival in Bonn, the Ensemble Resonanz will perform a new melodrama by Jan Müller-Wieland and the author and television moderator Roger Willemsen entitled “Der Knacks” on 29 September 2010.

Willemsen’s new book “Der Knacks” is literary, a study in cultural science, political and has the quality of essay writing all at the same time. Müller-Wieland explains that the honest and authentic style of the author fascinated him whilst reading it. The genre of the melodrama forms, as Müller-Wieland puts it, “the archaic key for the declamatory and fabulous transition into a new land through a panorama consisting of signs of aging, perceptions of the past, injuries and types of death.”

In response to the question as to why this book by Roger Willemsen is so wonderfully suited for the genre of the melodrama, Jan Müller-Wieland answers as follows: “The book treats many subjects about which one can hardly speak, and does not want to speak. For example, the loss of one’s father and also the death of one’s father. Music can specify this in a tactful manner. In addition, Willemsen’s – in the best sense – simple spoken diction certainly does not draw the music into any exaggerated pathos because the book itself hardly works with lyrical hyperbole in its content, but rather with a laconic down-to-earth quality. This evokes contrasts for new spaces, take-offs and forms of sound.”

Müller-Wieland’s melodrama “King of the Night,” for three female singers, 32 instrumentalists and additional electronics based on an own text collage, was written in 2003. In his melodramatic lied cycle “Yamin” for soprano, tenor, two pianos, two double basses and percussion (written in 1987), Müller-Wieland set early poems of Peter Härtling. The qualities in these poems that inspired him were, according to the composer, alluring, dreamlike, surreal, absurd, graceful and even childlike qualities.

29 September 2010
Bonn
Beethovenfest, Kammerspiele Bad Godesberg, 7 PM
World premiere: Jan Müller-Wieland
„Der Knacks.“ Melodrama for speaker, 18 strings and piano
after Roger Willemsens like-named book
Ensemble Resonanz
Roger Willemsen (speaker), Jan Müller-Wieland (conductor)

 

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