In “...Einklang freier Wesen...” the notion of the “solo ensemble” (like the Klangforum Wien, for whom the piece was written) is taken literally. Each of the work’s ten individual parts is simultaneously a solo piece; to state it differently, the ensemble piece is an interlacing of ten completely independent, autonomous solos. (Smaller “sub-ensembles” have also been conceived: a due for two percussionists; a trio for viola, cello, and contrabass; a quartet for bass flute, bass clarinet, and two percussionists; and finally, a septet for bass flute, bass clarinet, two percussionists, viola, cello, and contrabass.)
The versions for one to seven instruments are published under the title “aus freier Lust... verbunden...” (Bound ... of free will), each with corresponding instrumentation indication.
As regards pitch, the parts are bound together by an identical harmonic structure, although it is to be noted that in the solo parts “harmony” is thought of primarily as the effect of successive sound events. As for form, caesuras and units are formed in each individual part, not only independently of other instruments, but also simultaneously with them (as a sort of “solidarity”).
The titles are taken from a passage out of Friedrich Hölderlin’s novel Hyperion, paraphrased as follows:
“I feel a life force in me, that no god created and no mortal conceived. I believe that we exist through our own being; and only by virtue of our free will and desire (aus freier Lust) are we intimately bound (verbunden) to the cosmos. [...] What would this world be, were it not a unison of free beings (Einklang freier Wesen), were life not the full-voiced expression of every living being’s joyous desires since the beginning of time - how wooden the world would be! How cold!” (Hyperion, volume 2, book 2, chapter XXVII).
Georg Friedrich Haas
In 1994, Haas composed a piece for 10 instrumentalists, entitling it
after a work by Friedrich Hölderlin: Einklang
freier Wesen. In this case, the freie
Wesen (free beings) are the 10 solo works which can be subsumed in the
ensemble piece. The soloists and the small groups into which they are combined,
are also named after Hölderlin: … aus
freier Lust … verbunden (“joined out of free desire”). The trio for violin,
violoncello and contrabass is one of the five instrumental groups Haas created
from the solos.