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World première Cologne, February 18, 2001 - Trio Accanto

“The Sakura Variations are rooted in a world of sounds that is very familiar to us. They do not represent a step backwards, but a look backwards, and are to be understood as both cheerful and serious – just as I take children seriously, along with their need to be taken seriously within their horizon. The exotic inflections of the ‘sadly cheerful’ Japanese folk and children’s song which conjures up the connection of pure beauty and inevitable transitoriness in the symbol of the cherry blossoms, is embedded into the functional-harmonic practice of the European musical tradition. My variations escalate – albeit slightly in jest – into the pseudo-dramatic: towards the end, the music remains bound to the three beginning notes of the melody; the piano injects broad clusters, and the saxophone breaks out into an almost ecstatic improvisation – a situation that sends the music scurrying back to orderliness.”
(Helmut Lachenmann)

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