Aarau Songs

Christian Wolff

Aarau Songs has been performed in Aarau and Borås…

Written for Jürg Frey, this piece has eight parts, “songs.” Here again (as in, for instance, Burdocks, Long Peace March and Ruth) I’ve been interested, formally, in patchwork structure, collection and juxtaposition of sometimes quite disparate materials and continuities which somehow hang together without losing their individual identities. The basic material for the music is various, mostly worked in a variety of counterpoints: some abstract, some song-related, including a Black freedom song (The Drinking Gourd), a Black prison song (Almost done), a United States nineteenth century “Social Harp” three-part song (Liberty), and a fifteenth century chanson attributed to Ockeghem (Malheur me bat). I first learned about this last song through an allusive quotation of it in Luigi Nono’s String Quartet. The Aarau Songs are also dedicated to his memory and because of my admiration of his work.

Aarau Songs

  • Christian Wolff
  • Year of composition: 1994
  • Duration: 17:00
  • Instrumentation: string quartet and clarinet
Concerts
6 May 2001
11:00 am
FeldmanPisaroWolff
In person
Aarau (Switzerland)
3 Octo 2004
4:00 pm
FreyHallnäsWolff
In person
Borås (Sweden)