Helmut Lachenmann (*1935) Tanzsuite mit Deutschlandlied
Concerto [2vl,va,vc,orch] 1979/80 duration: 36'
solos: 2vl.va.vc – 4(4picc.A-fl).3.3.B-clar.3.dble bsn – 184.108.40.206. – perc(4) – hp – pno – str: 10.10.8.8.6.
World première: Donaueschingen (Donaueschinger Musiktage), October 18, 1980
DVD containing interview with Lachenmann, sectional rehearsals and concert
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More than my earlier works, this one is interspersed with metrically bound rhythms and musicianly characters that constantly recrystallize and drift towards or away from familiar situations.
The familiar: These are dance-like figures and music-making formulas, but also songs and, in two cases fragments of Bach's music – playfully collected memories of impressions in which – consciously and unconsciously – I am embodied with that collective comfort in whose protection bourgeois thinking and feeling, magically protected, grow up and emerge apart.
(It is well known that such security has its fetishes from the childlike to the adult stage: Home, religious bond, holidays, tradition, longing for childhood – the superficiality may have little idea of the depth that opens up underneath. There is also no question that we are still marked by such security even when the contradictions and alienation of existence force us to step out of their protection, to recognize and act upon reality, and to oppose the domination of such inner bonds where their original truth has become the fatal untruth of comfortable illusion, stubbornly and fearfully conjured idyll and reactionary narrow-mindedness.
My music feeds on figures in which such memories are encapsulated. It deals with them not much differently than in other pieces with the elements of the traditional musical concept of material, having already always reflected compositionally as a product of sociality and anticipation of musical expression, i.e. it moved into a structurally expanded context and expressively redefined from there.
Such an approach aims at overcoming lack of freedom: grasping as part of conceiving, i.e. not philosophical reflection, but rather an artistically gripping reflex by intervening in the physical immediacy of such predetermined elements. These penetrate and infect the structural events, inducing a musicianship that cannot be relied upon; the music jumps onto rhythms like onto moving vehicles, allows for being carried by them until they deform or disintegrate. This creates an incline of rhythmically shaped situations: sequence and interweaving of dances and structures.
The role of the solo string quartet is versatile, obbligato and concertante, leading and accompanying in a changing sense. Set as a chamber music apparatus in an orchestral landscape, it repeatedly forces its own sound dimensions onto the orchestra, it must accept being drowned out at times, it nests in the holes of tutti fields, it acts as a louse in the fur, forcing one to listen in and out.
The “Tanzsuite with Deutschlandlied” is structured as follows:
I. Section. 1. Introduction – 2. Waltz – 3. March – 4. Bridge –
II. Section. 5. Siciliano – 6. Capriccio – 7. Valse lente –
III. Section. 8. Bridge – 9. Gigue – 10. Tarantelle – 11. Bridge –
IV. Section. 12 Aria I – 13 Polka – 14 Aria II
V. Section. 15. Introduction – 16 Gallop – 17 Coda (Aria III)
All 17 parts merge into one another.
(Helmut Lachenmann, 1980)
Arditti-Quartett, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, cond. Olaf Henzold
CD Montaigne Auvidis MO 782019
Berner Streichquartett, Sinfonieorchester des SWF, cond. Sylvain Cambreling (Excerpt)
CD BMG/RCA 74321 73510 2 (Musik in Deutschland 1950-2000)
Berner Streichquartett, Sinfonieorchester des SWF, cond. Sylvain Cambreling
LP DMR 1028-30
Cavalotti, Pietro: Differenzen. Poststrukturalistische Aspekte in der Musik der 1980er Jahre am Beispiel von Helmut Lachenmann, Brian Ferneyhough und Gérard Grisey (= Sonus. Schriften zur Musik, hrsg. von Andreas Ballsteadt, Band 8), Schliengen: Argus 2006, pp. 79-128.
Das sind doch alles Deutschlandlieder! Helmut Lachenmann im Gespräch mit Michael Rebhahn, in: Der Taktgeber. Das Magazin der Jungen Deutschen Philharmonie, Heft 40 (Sommer 2019), S. 6f.
Stawowy, Milena: "Fluchtversuche in die Höhle des Löwen". Helmut Lachenmanns "Tanzsuite mit Deutschlandlied", in: MusikTexte 67/68 (1997), pp. 77-90.
Toop, Richard: Concept and Context: A Historiographic Consideration of Lachenmanns Orchestral Works, in: Helmut Lachenmann Inward Beauty, hrsg. von Dan Albertson, Contemporary Music Review 23 (2004), Heft 3/4, pp. 125-144.