Universal Edition - Wolfgang Rihm – Chiffre II

Wolfgang Rihm

Wolfgang Rihm
Chiffre II

Year of composition: 1983
Subtitle: Silence to be beaten
Scored for: for 14 players
Composer: Wolfgang Rihm
Instrumentation: 1 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 0 - perc(1-2), pno, str(1 1 1 1 1)
Instrumentation details:
flute (+picc)
oboe (+c.a)
clarinet in Bb (+cl(Eb)
bass cl(Bb))
bassoon (+cbsn)
horn in F
trumpet in C (+picc.tpt)
1st, 2nd percussion (version for 2 players)
percussion (version for 1 player)
1st violin
2nd violin
Duration: 14′
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Audio Excerpt

Chiffre II

World Première

Location: London / Great Britain
Date: 30.11.1983
Orchestra: London Sinfonietta
Conductor: Antony Pay

Work Introduction

The subtitle of this piece could be a nod in the direction of Varèse’s Arcana (where it appears as an agogic); it seems to be a continuation of the thought-process of Chiffre I. The furioso piano returns, although it is now juxtaposed with an ensemble twice as large which (in contrast to Chiffre I) is not suppressible; in fact, it occasionally manages to subdue the raging.

Chiffre II is highly dramatic music: eruptive, with sudden, short cries and long, very still passages when, from nowhere, the bass drums burst forth into ffff and the music’s continuity is repeatedly interrupted by silences.

Translation: Grant Chorley

View the full study score

Selected editions are available on sale on request.

Chiffre II

Future Performances

29.04.2017 - Klangbrücken Festival
Location: Ballhof Eins, Hannover (D), Orchestra: musica assoluta, Conductor: Thorsten Encke

Location: Copenhagen (DK), Orchestra: Athelas Sinfonietta , Conductor: Pierre-André Valade

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