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music for cello

for Matthias Lorenz

approx. 14 Min.
composed 2019

→ Download pdf 5.239 kB
→ Video 2020 Frankfurt am Main, Matthias Lorenz - Vc.


In the course of the time of my compositional work there was a multiple oscillation between more complex and simpler forms. Often there were compositional questions that were refined and branched out from piece to piece. The necessity to break this direction of development over and over again and to arrive at simple structures without loss of differentiation requires a certain radicality. This can be seen again and again in Beethoven's music. Such a break helps not to lose oneself in mannerism, but to come to clear statements again. It should be clear that I am not striving for a reduction of complexity here, as can be observed in so many ways in our present day, with which discourse becomes mere expression of opinion, with which often only drawers are used and clichés are produced.
The piano trio "Seven Little Movements" is one such piece. And "Ent-Gegnung" can also be added.
Eight materials or structures are distributed over 35 sections, which clearly stand out and differ from one another in tempo, playing technique, dynamic design, density and sound. All sections begin with a short impulse with oversized bow pressure on the C-string and the eight structures rise in semitones. Seven times the piece starts with the first of the eight structures, always in the same order the others follow, but only once every eight follow. The passage is stopped at a different point each time and the piece starts again with the first one. Because of the clear differences, the structures are always clearly recognizable, but they are changed each time they reappear.
The cellist's voice is used in four of them. Consonantal rubbing and hissing sounds as well as singing are used. And the singing comes together once in unison with the cello voice, secondly - in the eighth structure, which occurs only once, a text by → W. G. Sebald is sung contrapuntally to the cello voice, which is the trigger and key for the composition.
In the opposition of the "you" and the landscape, the poem expresses a relationship in which I recognize an elementary problem of our contemporary culture: the lack of understanding for existence in other tenses than our own. The renewed intensification of class antagonisms in the globalized economy, combined with a re-nationalization, forms radically different speeds that determine the life-world of different people and make encounters and mutual understanding more difficult.


Hard to understand
is the landscape,
when you're on the express train
from there to go over there,
while she watches
your disappearance speechless.

→ W. G. Sebald (with permission of Hanser-Verlag)


2020 March, 5th: Dresden, Projekttheater, → Matthias Lorenz - cello

Further Performances:
2020 March, 7th: Frankfurt am Main, Ausstellungshalle
2020 March, 9th: Oldenburg, Oldenburger Kunstverein
2020 April 9th: → Youtube-Livestream, Programm: Gilberto Agostinho: “Jamais Vu D” (at 2:50), “Re-Tort” (at 11:17), Gilberto Agostinho: “and thereafter they shape us” (at 31:05) and Petr Bakla: “Something with something else III” (at 50:20)


Nordwest-Zeitung, March 11th, 2020

Exciting cello evening at the Kunstverein
by Horst Hollmann

Oldenburg. At a height of a good 170 centimetres, a cello, with its spike pulled out and measured up to the scroll. As a pure playing surface, 70 centimetres of fingerboard and strings between the top nut and bridge are sufficient. All in all: there is a lot of unused space for the production of notes.
Someone like Friedemann Schmidt-Mechau must have had a similar view. And the composer, who had just turned 65, took action. He creates his cello works as total works of art for the instrument, including pantomimic postures of the player. He strikes the spike col legno with the bow wood, strokes the tailpiece and pegs. The composer celebrates his birthday at the Oldenburger Kunstverein and with an increasingly packed audience. The new music specialist Matthias Lorenz from Dresden celebrates four solo works.
Schmidt-Mechau only began composing at the age of 33. Oldenburg with the university, with the ensemble oh-ton and various choir conductors was the centre of his life before he moved to his native city Frankfurt in 2014. The Oldenburg program, which was already realized in Dresden and Frankfurt on the days before, gives an informative overview of his compositional development: “Aposiopesis“ from 1990, “Morgenlachen“ from 1997, “Fehlversteck“ from 2007 and “Ent-Gegnung“ from 2019 as a world première.
Lorenz reveals “that the composer first of all sees the cello as an object with which sounds can be produced.“ After the remaining cantilenas in the first work, the music becomes increasingly dense and sparse, often more intimate. Glissandi are a special stylistic device of Schmidt-Mechau. Otherwise there is a tremendous rubbing, sliding, hissing, crackling, creaking, crunching, rustling, knocking, breathing and sometimes even singing. The variety seems unlimited, and the cellist is their brilliant director and arranger.
The cellist has to strain his instrument. So he pulls up the strings and lets them snap back to banging pizzicati. Then the strings groan as he pulls the bow upwards over them like a bulldozer. And the body has to take all kinds of punches. But there is also relaxation. In one movement, Lorenz silently and without disturbing the instrument, reenacts twelve postures that a cellist can assume while playing. May one say that: it is fascinating?
But inescapably the music casts a spell on the listener. It builds on sequences of events that are often determined by changing numerical series. You don't have to grasp them while listening, but you can sense that each performance brings different sequences. Its great strength lies in the fact that even small-scale designs and seemingly scrambled sequences can be brought together to form a perceptibly logical unit. This is indeed a strong piece of New Music.