David Philip Hefti [1975 *]

Diarium

for violin solo


DIARIUM for violin solo was written in 1999 and is dedicated to violinist Stefan Tönz, who performed it for the first time in 2003 in Zürich. The solo sonata comprises six contrasting movements:

1. Sonata
As the title says, this movement is written in the sonata form (exposition, development and reprise). The main theme of the exposition is determined by energetic rhythms, large intervals and loud dynamics, totally in contrast to the subsidiary theme, which forms the opposite of all mentioned points. In the development, the rhythms of the main and the subsidiary theme are exchanged and run backwards; the tone material remains assigned to the appropriate theme but appears in the inverse form. According to the sonata form, the subsidiary theme appears in tonic in the reprise.

2. Canon cancricans per inversionem
This movement is an inverse canon for two voices, which runs backwards, starting from the middle of the movement. This has the logical consequence that the first voice turns into the second and vice versa. The coda serves as anticipation of the following movement.

3. Prologus - Tempestas - Lamentatio
A characteristic of this piece is its wavelike and extremely differentiated dynamics. After a great climax the virtuoso music flows into a lamentation.

4. Quae regula?
Which rule? As the title asks, the interpreter or interested musician can find out on his own, how this movement was written.

5. Re(di)re
In this movement, the twelve-tone technique is combined with the central-tone technique. A three-part form with an introduction develops. At the end of this movement there is a cadenza with three-voice chords, which result from the fact that the interpreter plays a double stop and sings/hums a third tone.

6. Finale
In the extremely short final movement, which is written for two voices, the chorale 'come, sweet death' which was composed by Bach, is used in the upper voice. The second voice consists of the tone material of the fifth movement.

D. P. H.


The bow seems to be flying, rearing up, gently giving way, withdrawing, fleeing. But it only stops in order to accelerate again, to persuade, even to flirt: This is all about DIARIUM, a composition by David Philip Hefti, who was born in 1975. DIARIUM was composed in 1999, premiered by Stefan Tönz in March of this year in Zurich and performed on 3 April 2003 in Venice for the second time. The experience is thrilling: Springtime, the twittering of birds, thunderstorms, presentiments and resistance, singing and lamentation, painful strokes of the pizzicati by the long little finger, then relaxation, slow and calm exhaling. An enormously lively, descriptive and spectacular music. (Maria Cortese Scarpa, Venice)