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Gerald Resch‘s “Fingertip Dances” and “Scene. Timeless, Placeless” Given World Premiere

The world premiere of “Fingertip Dances” for youth ensemble by Gerald Resch will be given on 9 June 2015 at the Kunsthaus at the Brücken-Festival in Mürzzuschlag, Styria (Austria). In response to a commission from the festival and its artistic director, Ernst Kovacic, the Austrian composer arranged eight pieces from his (13) “Fingertip Dances” (originally written for piano) for a flexible music school ensemble: 5 winds (e.g. flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trumpet and bassoon), 1–2 percussionists and 3 or more strings (at least 2 violins and violoncello). The chamber ensemble of Kindberg Music School will present the new version under the direction of Klaus Steinberger.

With the “Fingertip Dances”, Gerald Resch joins a long tradition of composers who have written pieces for their own children and, in so doing, have immersed themselves in childlike worlds of images and experiences. Mila, Gerald Resch’s daughter and the dedicatee of the “Fingertip Dances”, received them as a special present for her ninth birthday: she is able to call her own these thirteen little pieces that have gained considerable attention through their variety of musical ideas and pianistic challenges.

Three days later, on 12 June 2015, the Ensemble Risonanze erranti and the Ensemble Schwerpunkt will perform the world premiere of Gerald Resch’s new ensemble work “Scene. Timeless, Placeless” at the festival “aDevantgarde” (9-15 June 2015) in Munich. Peter Tilling will conduct the work at the Allerheilige Hofkirche. This work is a setting of the lay of Hildebrand “Szene. Zeitlos, ortlos” (“Scene. Timeless, Placeless”).

Gerald Resch on “Scene. Timeless, Placeless”:
“I combined the older lay of Hildebrand from the ninth century with the more recent one from the fifteenth century, rewriting them in present-day German, for my setting of the lay of Hildebrand ‘Szene. Zeitlos, ortlos’ (‘Scene. Timeless, Placeless’). In so doing, I left out almost everything that defines the time and place of the archetypical encounter between father and son. The scene is thus abstracted, without time or place. Musically speaking, I have tried to find a personally abstracted ‘pseudo-medieval’ basic hue: for example, simple vocal lines that are repeatedly fanned out through the ‘imprecise unison’ of the ensemble.
Individual fragments of words from the preceding events appear, isolated and interlocked with each other, in the central battle scene (before which the older lay of Hildebrand stops). It has been reported that at the moment of dying, individual sequences of one’s own life elapse before the inner eye, as in quick-motion time-lapse – this passage refers back to this phenomenon.
At the very end, I put in a quotation from another work: the four-part motet ‘Mitten wir im Leben sind’ by Balthasar Resinarius (died 1544), which is distorted and exaggerated with the help of additional parts. ‘Scene. Timeless, Placeless’ is dedicated to my father.”

9 June 2015
Kunsthaus, 7:30 PM
World premiere: Gerald Resch
“Fingertip Dances” for youth ensemble
Chamber Ensemble of the Kindberg Music School
Klaus Steinberger (direction)

12 June 2015
Allerheiligen Hofkirche, 8:30 PM
World premiere: Gerald Resch
“Scene. Timeless, Placeless” for small ensemble
Ensemble Risonanze erranti
Ensemble Schwerpunkt
Peter Tilling (direction)


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