Academic journal article Journal of Singing

Got Lost: Musik Für Hohen Sopran Und Klavier

Academic journal article Journal of Singing

Got Lost: Musik Für Hohen Sopran Und Klavier

Article excerpt

Lachenmann, Helmut. Got Lost: Musik für hohen Sopran und Klavier (Music for High Soprano and Piano). Edition Breitkopf, Breitkopf & Härtel. Difficulty: advanced; extended vocal techniques required for both voice and piano. Range: Very high tessitura; frequent excursions above the staff, with declamatory/Sprechstimme sections and extended vocal techniques throughout. Duration: 29 minutes.

Helmut Lachenmann (b. 1935), composer and pianist, is a towering figure in the avant-garde music of post-war Germany, and has continued to push the envelope in his compositional evolution. Got Lost is a tour de force effort, calling for a symbiotic partnership of singer and pianist in a piece that is Lachenmann's only work for this traditional ensemble. It premiered in Munich in 2008, and has since been performed many times in Europe and the United States. The overall effect of this demanding work is one of delightful spontaneity in the exploration of sound, and, when done by a duo supremely attuned to one another, of ensemble carried to its highest level.

Both pianist and singer are instructed to be mindful of their equal status in the execution of the piece. "There is not one bar in which the piano may be understood to be an accompanying instrument. The piano must adopt a profile as high as that of the soprano voice in the musical action, and must even occasionally force its way to the musical foreground," says Lachenmann in the performance instructions. The composer's requests are minutely specific for both performers, with detailed discussion of vowels, consonants, and special notation included in his instructions. In Got Lost, Lachenmann has united three texts by Friedrich Nietzsche, Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa, and an anonymous English language text. …

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