Příhody starého zálesáka / Stories of the Old Backwoodsman
MUSIC ABOUT THREE
POEMS IN PROSE BY IVAN WERNISCH
for bassoon, percussion and piano (2005)
I. Prelude (Před deštěm / Before It Rains) (4')
II. Příhody starého zálesáka / Stories of the Old Backwoodsman
III. Postlude (Na cestě / On the Road) (1')
durata: ca. 16 min.
Premiered by Jaromír Havlík, Tomáš Ondrůšek and Miroslav Pudlák
in the autumn of 2005 in Prague.
Structurally speaking, the central part of the piece is a kind of
variations on the dominant seventh
chord, while the Prelude and the Postlude deal with a simple
rhythmic pattern and its distorted,
melodized echo. And that’s all? Instead of sophisticated harmonic
structures, the dominant seventh
everywhere? Instead of spectral chords, octaves? The saw and the
slide flute attempting (in vain)
to get in tune, instead of intricate microtonal systems? The piano
only rarely played with more than
one finger? Held bassoon notes instead of brand-new multiphonics,
and the scraping saw instead
of 27th harmonic on the E string? And the triangle...?!?
You may see the piece as a manifesto of musical primitivism, but
please note: it is nothing
sarcastic or polemic and by no means a parody. I would like to
call it a “melancholic musical DIY”.
Před deštěm (Before It Rains), Příhody starého zálesáka
(Stories of the Old Backwoodsman) and
Na cestě (On the Road; nothing to do with Kerouac, though)
are titles of poems in prose by Ivan
Wernisch, which have been object of my admiration since many
years. However, the titles say very
little about the melancholic-nostalgic-ironic nature of the poems,
minimal and masterly elegant…
And so simplistic and banal at first sight! In the best case, this
piece can be seen as a musical
parallel or comment – hence the subtitle “music about poems”.