Michael Obst (*1955) Chansons
based on Poems by E. Fried [Mez,Quar,tape] 1986 Duration: 45' Text: Erich Fried
World première (Version for Mez & 4-track tape): Cologne (World Music Days), October 23, 1987
World première (Version for Mez, 2 perc & 4-track tape): Kaiserslautern, November 23, 1988
World première: Bonn, Mai 25, 1989
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This is the first composition in which I have mode direct use of texts for a song cycle. For this piece I chose among poems by Erich Fried which fell into three basic categories of his lyrical works: those critical of society, the poetic, and the visionary works. Further, three different levels were important for the composition: the basic meaning of the poems as transmitted by the mezzo-soprano, the formal construction of the verses and the structure of the words as a principal of composition, and the musical expression by the use of different compositional means. Erich Fried's poems are characterized by an active humanitary interest during an era in which mankind must live with the possibility of its own self-destruction for the first time in history. The poems arouse to the realisation of the urgency of our current situation on the one hand; on the other hand, they reflect the feelings and desires of each individual. Accordingly, sparsely composed and instrumentated sections contrast with generously planned passages, and each has their own unique interpretive function.