Manuela Kerer (*1980) De/Con
[str quar] 2016/17 duration: 15' - 18'
World première: Stockholm (Festival O/MODERNT), June 19, 2017
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When Hugo Ticciati asked me to write a new piece for his quartet, I was immediately enthusiastic about this project. I love how Hugo and his O/MODERNT String Quartet unite “old" and "new" music in a completely natural way. So, I was absolutely excited about Hugo`s idea of having my piece based on two of my idols, Bach and Beethoven, deconstructing the one and constructing the other. With all my respect for these great composers I gave to the piece a very personal inner part consisting of my own music that influenced and inspired the other parts. For the whole piece I felt very close to Beethoven, who said: “To make a fugue is not art, which [is something] I have made dozens of times in my study. But the imagination will assert its rights and must come today, in light of the old traditional form, to another truly poetic element.”
“De/Con” is a travel into different centuries with different sound-languages. For me, it was like having a wonderful constructive discussion with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven, each of us trying to speak our own language, approaching the others step by step. The piece could be defined as a Love Letter to two of the greatest composers ever.
“De/Con” could be preceded by (parts of) Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Die Kunst der Fuge” (The Art of the Fugue) and succeeded by Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Große Fuge” (Great Fugue). Ideally, then, all parts should be played attacca. It could, but it hasn’t to be played with these two pieces.