René Mense




En Face d'en Face  (1998)
for flute and harp, 8'

   In En Face d'en Face (Eng., "opposite the opposite"), two kinds of musical movement are combined with one another. Both instruments alternate between a capricious scherzando character and a, paradoxically formulated, immovable andante character. The latter is composed in the form of a series of even quarter notes.

  The drama of the piece is dominated by the dialectic tension resulting from the transition from dynamics into stasis. Dynamics is understood here in the Aristotelean sense as a potential, i.e., not yet realized "force" which, for example is also inherent in a musical figure. This potential (dynamis) rushes toward the act (actus/energeia), to its "realization".

    The ontological-genetic aspects of Being, i.e., Becoming, of things according to this Aristotelean model of perception are not significant for me, nor am I am interested in evoking something such as the essence of music. I am interested in Aristoteles' model here only as a kind of "parallelogram of forces", with the help of which a dialectic observation of the opposites contained in music can be formulated.

  This dialectic tension is articulated in En Face d'en Face in a tendency toward lost motion: the scherzando figures wind up in a swirl of accumulated forces whereby their dynamic "goes up in smoke", so to speak, and comes to a standstill (stasis). The already static uniformity of the quarter notes of the opposite character, on the other hand, has the effect of accumulating power, that is, in a certain way new potential is built up that in turn presses on toward energeia (actus).

  It becomes evident then, that both characters, regardless of their outward divergence are related to one another in a certain way. Translated conceptually, that would mean that nothing is what it is without having gone through its opposite.

Sheet Music Sample (PDF)

Audio Sample (MP3) 4.5 MB

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