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Rihm chose this title for the first of his works commissioned by the Ensemble Intercontemporain; he composed it when he was 24 and it was premiered shortly before his 25th birthday, conducted by Michael Gielen. Borrowed from cinematography, the name perhaps indicates the short sections which make up the piece (whence surely the subtitle “Orchestra Sketches” as well).
The music evinces the young composer’s sense of drama, tension and Klangfarbe (percussion, harp and piano are prominent), including huge outbursts, the percussion predominating. Just before the dramatic finale, a quiet, barren landscape appears, as if the preceding storms had left their traces behind.
Translation: Grant Chorley