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Wolfgang Rihm: Klangbeschreibung 3

  • for large orchestra
  • 5 3 5 3 - 4 4 4 1 - timp, perc(6), hp(2), cel/, pno, str(16 14 12 10 8)
  • Duration: 40’
  • Instrumentation details:
    1st piccolo
    2nd piccolo
    1st flute
    2nd flute
    3rd flute
    1st oboe
    2nd oboe
    3rd oboe (+c.a)
    clarinet in Eb (+cl(A))
    1st clarinet in A (+cl(Bb))
    2nd clarinet in A (+cl(Bb))
    3rd clarinet in A (+bass cl(Bb))
    bass clarinet in Bb
    1st bassoon
    2nd bassoon
    1st horn in F
    2nd horn in F
    3rd horn in F
    4th horn in F
    1st trumpet in C
    2nd trumpet in C
    3rd trumpet in C
    4th trumpet in C (+picc.tpt in C)
    1st trombone
    2nd trombone
    3rd trombone
    4th trombone (+bass tpt)
    contrabass tuba
    1st percussion
    2nd percussion
    3rd percussion
    4th percussion
    5th percussion
    6th percussion
    1st harp
    2nd harp
    celesta (
    violin I
    violin II
  • Composer: Wolfgang Rihm
  • Dedication: Michael Gielen zum 60. Geburtstag gewidmet
  • Commission: Auftrag des Südwestfunk

Work introduction

Although Rihm does not locate any correlation among the works in the Klangbeschreibung cycle, listeners may well find one; all three compositions consist of distinguishing sounds and sonic groups, difficult to define in terms of form in its traditional sense. The silences are almost as important as the pitches, while the Klangfarbe [timbre] is increasingly significant. This is mysterious music which the composer himself finds it difficult to explain; in the programme booklet for the world premiere in Donaueschingen he makes an attempt, listing the titles of many of his own pieces: “ … a kind of black hole into which traces, signs, contours, twilights and records collapse – as if they were real.”

Translation: Grant Chorley


The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

World première

Donaueschingen (DE)
Michael Gielen

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