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Sozusagen (Quartetto)

17 Miniaturen

SOZUSAGEN  (So to speak) 1997/99


17 Miniatures for Oboe, Viola, Bassoon and Guitar, after the Klee Painting, 9’25’’


The year 1933 was to prove traumatic for Klee the man – Hitler comes to power, Klee is dismissed from his teaching post at Düsseldorf, and before the year is over, Klee is driven into exile into Switzerland. But for Klee the artist, the year started out with a breakthrough. He overthrew the reliance on technique and „technical elaboration“, and emerged with a new freedom of expression. Klees So to speak  (1933) consists of mere calligraphic strokes: a set of quotation marks enclose an apostrophe, 2 period s, and 10 brushwork intersecting lines going off seemingly at random.

Darbellay reacts to Klee’s painting by noting that „Klee is getting rid of unnecessary things and is searching fort he essential.“ Darbellays SOZUSAGEN is a variation, actually more of a palimpsest, of an already existing piece. QUARTETTO, from 1997. The music is comprised of 17 miniature sections – none lasting more than a minute and four seconds. The equate to the 17 strokes and points found in Klee’s painting. Each miniature is a little drama of ist own: there is rustling, pointillistic exclamation, sustained notes, melodic snippets, and several stretches of unre-solved expression. As Darbellay has written, he has „tried to evoke the floating element, the instability Klee felt as German politics was disintegrating.“