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Roman Haubenstock-Ramati: Endless

  • for 7 players
  • Instrumentation details:
    fl. - tbn. - perc.(2) - hp., pno./hpsd. - vc.
  • Composer: Roman Haubenstock-Ramati
  • Dedication: for “ZOHAR”
  • Commission: im Auftrag von „Testimonium“-Jerusalem und dem Kabbala-Buch „Sohar“ gewidmet

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Work introduction

The structure of the work.

The work is constructed as an endless mobile for seven players and the conductor. (Apart from the coordination of the beginning and the end of the work, the conductor has to realize the own independent voice.) The seven voices of the instrumentalists are conceived as a closed form, variable in length, (durations vary between three and four minutes) which – like loops – are permanently repeated. The variability of the duration of the voices results on the one hand from the notation of the happening in proportional metrics and is on the other hand influenced by the variability of the conductor’s tempi. Indeed he cannot direct the playing itself, but to a certain degree the density of the happening. From the permanent repetition of several musical layers of different length results the ever growing variability of the vertical image of the music, which will never be repeated despite the permanent repetition of the horizontal sequence of the individual elements. This is the principle of my „dynamic-closed” form which I employ since 1958 in most of my works in differing variations and notation-systems. It is the diverse mobile and multiple types of composition, those turnable forms of notation „cross word”-like, canon-like versions, formal and graphic solutions which I have invented and which are used so often with more or less success in many scores of modern music. The „dynamic-closed“ form is by no means consummated by the lengths of the individual voices in the present composition and by the inevitable relative displacements – upon each repetition – resulting from the varying tempi and durations.

For practical reasons, the performance of this composition is limited to a small representative excerpt of this unending form.

(The minimal length of this „Endless“ ought to last 12-15 minutes, but may continue ad lib.)

Roman Haubenstock-Ramati

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