Martin Smolka (*1959) Der Puppenkavalier
Music to the Silent Film „Die Puppe“ by Ernst Lubitsch [ens] 2010/2017 duration: 64'
fl(picc).clar(B-clar).bsn – trp – perc(2) – E-guit.acc – vl.db
World première: Nuremberg, April 10, 2010
“Die Puppe” by Ernst Lubitsch (1919) is first of all good and clever entertainment, just marginally there appear also experimental elements (such as the multiplication of the picture). So in the music I searched for means, which would support the film quite directly – to underline its good mood, its numerous nuances of irony and, last but not least, to help readability of the silent movie. The 10 instruments use tools of new music such as microtones or timbre effects, as well as loops, tonal elements and quasi quotations. For example the music to the ball is a mosaic of bizarre noises, and of fragments of as though classical minuetto. There is also one true quotation from Tchaikovsky’s “Onegin”, however ironized by instrumentation for bassoon in its highest register.
Mosaic and hocketing were my key composing strategies. Most enjoying was writing music to chases. My favorite character has been the boy, The Apprentice of the puppet-maker. My favorite scene is his fight in the kitchen in which our percussionists have the pleasure (as if) to shatter plenty of tallers.
(Martin Smolka, 2017)