David Philip Hefti [1975 *]

Mondschatten

for violin and marimba


Mondschatten (Moon Shadow) was written in 2006 to a commission from the Cunz/Ott Duo, and is dedicated to the violinist Rahel Cunz and the percussionist Jacqueline Ott Yesilalp.

After its opening knocking signals, the marimba follows different fragments of a developing line, from whose shadow the violin then frees itself. The composition begins three times before the music is able to advance in an expressive counterpoint. A frenetic dance forms the starting-point of a continuous build-up of virtuosity, dynamics and aggression. Cries of despair. Reconciliation. Reminiscence. Elegy - lamentation. Contemplation.

D. P. H.


Mondschatten was inspired by the poem 'Abendland' by Georg Trakl (1887-1914):

Abendland
(3. Fassung)

An Else Lasker-Schüler


1

Mond, als träte ein Totes
Aus blauer Höhle
Und es fallen der Blüten
Viele über den Felsenpfad.
Silbern weint ein Krankes
Am Abendweiher,
Auf schwarzem Kahn
Hinüberstarben Liebende.
Oder es läuten die Schritte
Elis' durch den Hain
Den hyazinthenen
Wieder verhallend unter Eichen.
O des Knaben Gestalt
Geformt aus kristallenen Tränen,
Nächtigen Schatten.
Zackige Blitze erhellen die Schläfe
Die immerkühle,
Wenn am grünenden Hügel
Frühlingsgewitter ertönt.

2

So leise sind die grünen Wälder
Unsrer Heimat,
Die kristallen Woge
Hinsterbend an verfallner Mauer
Und wir haben im Schlaf geweint;
Wandern mit zögernden Schritten
An der dornigen Hecke hin
Singende im Abendsommer,
In heiliger Ruh
Des fern verstrahlenden Weinbergs
Schatten nun im kühlen Schoß
Der Nacht, trauernde Adler.
So leise schließt ein mondener Strahl
Die purpurnen Male der Schwermut.

3

Strahlend nachtet die steinerne Stadt
In der Ebene.
Ein schwarzer Schatten
Folgt der Fremdling
Mit dunkler Stirne dem Wind,
Kahlen Bäumen am Hügel;
Auch ängstet im Herzen
Einsame Abendröte
Als stürzten silberne Wasser
Ins kühle Dunkel-
O Liebe, es rührt
Ein blauer Dornenbusch
Die kalte Schläfe,
Mit fallenden Sternen
Schneeige Nacht.


Dramatic Mondschatten (Moon Shadow)
World Première of a Work by David Philip Hefti

Mondschatten (Moon Shadow) (2006), a new piece for violin and marimba by David Philip Hefti, has many guises. This is no disembodied, unsubstantial form; the music grips one powerfully over long stretches, and gets down to business with gestures that are highly immediate. It is a work that could perhaps even be danced as a ballet. The multifarious musical behavioural patterns that one finds in Moon Shadow are all derived by the composer from a central core of material. The work's breadth of expression leads us from the quietness of the opening, punctuated by gentle pulsations - the tension that Hefti produces through this is powerful - to a dithyrambic, wildly rhythmic dance that also has a thoroughly cathartic effect. Constantly changing physical states are conveyed through music in such a manner that a form is here constructed that has its own logic, and whose recapitulations are compelling. (...) Hefti's Moon Shadow was in the excellent hands of Rahel Cunz (violin) und Jacqueline Ott Yesilalp (marimba), and their interpretation was gripping. (Neue Zürcher Zeitung NZZ, Alfred Zimmerlin)

An Intensive Approach to Trakl
David Philip Hefti’s Mondschatten (Moon Shadow, 2006), after the poem by Georg Trakl, remained in particular in the mind. This is a work with convincing gestures, and with clear, strong musical ideas and emotions. It is frequently ritualistic in manner, and utilizes the possibilities of the combination marimba/violin to an extent far beyond the purely musical. For long stretches, we heard here a precise, highly charged music of mourning that was able to penetrate deep into Trakl’s worlds. (St. Galler Tagblatt, CH)