Gielen: Ein Tag tritt hervor
Pentaphonie mit Worten von P. Neruda

world première 1966

The basic idea of this piece is that the types of attack and timbre of the piano become autonomous and are then presented in groups of five instruments each from the Same family. There are also five groupes: five metal percussion, five wood and hide percussion, five different clarinets, five voices and five string instruments. One solo instrument each, which possesses properties of the piano and of one of these groups mediates between them. For example the vibraphon: it has keys, but of metal. The other solo instruments are marimba (--- wood), harmonium (--- Bellows), Ondes Martenot (---voice) and electric guitar (--- strings). The number five also dominates the serial technique (only five intervals) and the rhythm (through the quintuplet). The broad formal outline is the traditional ABA. In the A sections the sounds of each group are homogeneous and always come from the same direction. In section B several musicians exchange position and play in mixed groups The sound is heterogeneous, no longer constrained to one direction. One further stipulation separates the A sections from B: in the A sections the “verses" for the musicians in the groups alternate with the “incidental music" for the solo instruments. One group of five dominates in each verse, the others "visit". The B section is a mobile for sound objects which is always repeated in different combinations. This section uses only six pitches per octave. Once I was far enough with the planning that all of this was established, I looked for a text for the speaker (the voices are soprano, alto, tenor, bass and speaker). Fortunately I found the poem by Neruda (from Residencia en la tierra, written in the thirties), whose formal layout corresponded to the musical form I had planned. I did, however, rearrange certain verses and omitted one. And moreover the poem deals with "that which sounds". In two places one sound dominates all the others: the rustling, hissing, overtone-poor sound of whispering at the beginning of the reprise of A, and at the end of the piece, the sound of the triangle, a high band of glistening sound-light. Coming at the climax of the middle section are the words from Neruda's poem "cáscaras del silencio", that is, "vessels of silence". That means that the continuum surrounding us is silence - the "vessels" of music. A poetic disavowel of the outer world. In the fourth incidental music the soprano sings: The souls turns toward the sound and celebrates its hurried wedding and plunges in. (Michael Gielen)

Sinfonieorchester des Südwestfunks Baden-Baden
Ltg. Michael Gielen
Saphir LC 4226 - INT 830.871