My Trilogy for oboe and harp, composed for those great performers and dear friends, Ursula and Heinz Holliger, has as its motto the last two stanzas of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Sonette an Orpheus, II. 10. (Printed here in boldface type are the three phrases used as mottos for the three parts of Trilogy.):
Aber noch ist uns das Dasein verzaubert; an hundert
Stellen ist es noch Ursprung. Ein Spielen von reinen
Kräften, die keener berührt, der nicht kniet und bewundert.
Worte gehen noch zart am Unsäglichen aus…
Und die Musik, immer neu, aus den bebendsten Steinen,
baut im unbrauchbaren Raum ihr vergöttliches Haus.
But existence is still enchanting for us; in hundreds of places it is still
pristine, A play of pure forces, which no one can touch without kneeling
Words still peter out into what cannot be expressed…
And music, ever new, builds out of the most tremulous stones her divinely
consecrated house in unexploitable space. *
Each of the three sections of Trilogy was written for a special occasion. BARIOLAGE (which has the motto: Ein Spielen von reinen Kräften) is a harp solo written for a festival of my music given in Geneva in March, 1992, for Ursula Holliger, to whom it is dedicated, to play. I was interested in writing for the harp as I had been a friend and admirer of Carlos Salzedo who wrote for the harp in such an inventive way.
INNER SONG (which has the motto: Worte gehen noch zart am Unsäglichen aus…) was written for a festival of Stefan Wolpe’s music in Witten, Germany, in April, 1992, for Heinz Holliger to perform, to whom it is dedicated. The fascinating friendship with Wolpe is a very treasured memory.
IMMER NEU (whose motto is: die Musik, immer neu) is dedicated to Ursula and Heinz Holliger and provides a duet for them. Its outlook was suggested by Raffaele Pozzi who asked for the first performance at the Pontino Festival in June, 1992, a festival centered around a vision of the new that led so many beside Columbus to explore the world 500 years ago. In this piece each instrument in turn leads the other to a new tempo.
This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to the composer