René Mense




Echoes, Speech and Speed (2001)
for piano, 13'

  Echoes, Speech and Speed is a musical narrative. In this piece, I have taken up characteristic elements from my piano work Fragment. Its "infinite melody" becomes the medium of speech here. This stands out against a background of complex resonances, the echoes.

  "Echoes", however, represents the first time that I've included a type of jazz idiom into my tonal language. The motive for this was a self-citation: In 1996, I set one of two poems written in English by the Italian poet Cesare Pavese from his last poetry cycle of 1950, in which the blues lends a certain background sound, in the style of a jazz ballad. While quoting that piece in fragments and developing it in new contexts, the other idiom increasingly asserted itself and created its own narrative. (I later reworked the jazz ballad into a piano poem with the title To C. from C. ).

  Another of my favorite linguistic mediums, namely the different speeds of musical figures, takes on the form of various narrative tempos in this piece, which - as in literature - fulfill a form building function. 

Audio Sample (MP3) Excerpts, 5.1 MB

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