René Mense




Two Pieces for Piano  (1993 /94)
Pohled, 1´
Loucení,  3´

  I was inspired to compose the two short piano pieces Pohled and Loucení by the music of Moravian composer Leos Janácek (1854-1928), which has intensively engaged me since the early 90s. In order to understand in what a novel way Janácek absorbed his Czech mother tongue into his vocal as well as instrumental music, I even studied the Czech language for several years. In addition to a sound that is rich in consonants, I was especially fascinated by the idiosyncratic rhythm of this language whose most salient characteristic is its constant emphasis on the first syllable of a word. In contrast to this basic accent are the drawn out vowels that occur in many words. The rhythm of both pieces, particularly in Loucení, is characterized by the interplay of these two linguistic features.

  The word “pohled” means “view” or  “perspective”, both in the literal and figurative sense. The latter is what interested me as I wrote this piece, which arose from an improvisation on New Year’s Eve in 1993.

  Loucení (“farewell”) was composed in March 1994 and is dedicated to my grandparents who had, in the meantime, passed away.

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