music for two or four pianos

ca. 11-22 Min.
composed 1988, first performance 1991
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→ Recording 1991 Oldenburg, Werner Barho and Ulrich Meckies - pno


The piece I wrote during my studies with Gustavo Becerra-Schmidt and which the composition teachers at the Hochschule Bremen regarded with complete incomprehension ("How can you judge that, you don't know what sounds together!") is a very clear, transparent piece. Built aleatorically, it consists of individual parts whose arrangement can be determined relatively freely within a given framework. The individual parts are reduced to a single sound towards the middle of the piece, but the connection remains clearly recognizable. The "empty" middle is thus primarily the memory of the listener. In the second half, the individual parts are rebuilt - differently - and the connection to the original element remains through similar forms of movement. The conclusion is composed of the element used only as a change marker.

The aleatoric playing aims above all at communication between the pianists. There is no rule for the correct distance. The approaching and removing remains in the uncertainty of constant searching. Only this holds the possibility of happiness, when for a fleeting moment the balance is found.


First performance:
1991, June 4th: University of Vechta, → Werner Barho and → Ulrich Meckies

Further Performances:
1991, June 7th: Schloß Oldenburg, Rep. of 1991, June 4th; live recording: Nordd. Rundfunk
1992, February 14th: Musikschule Meppen, Rep. of 1991, June 4th and workshop with introduction of the composition
1992 March 8th: Neues Theater Emden, Rep. of 1991, June 4th and workshop
1999 April 1st: Odessa-Festival; Werner Barho and → Oleksandr Perepelytsya


Nordwest-Zeitung, Oldenburg, approx. June 10th, 1991

Delicacies of special taste
Group „oh ton“ spanned a musical time arc
by → Manfred Klinkebiel

(...) Schmidt-Mechaus „Reduktion“, also a world premiere, again brought the two grand pianos into a completely different relationship with each other: starting from two musical textures that initially abruptly run next to each other, the music increasingly approaches a common centre, while at the same time the (clearly audible) central motivic work (tritone jump) is condensed and reduced to one point. The two grand pianos alternately throw individual intervals to each other, play with them as if with a small ball, only to say goodbye to each other again when the game loses its appeal and return to initial sound ranges. (...)