Performing Hanne Darboven's Opus 17a and long duration minimalist music (2019)

Michael Duch

About this exposition

Hanne Darboven’s (1941-2009) Opus 17a is a composition for solo double bass that is rarely performed due to the physical and mental challenges involved in its performance. It is one of four opuses from the composers monumental 1008 page Wünschkonzert (1984), and was composed during her period of making “mathematical music” based on mathematical systems where numbers were assigned to certain notes and translated to musical scores. It can be described as large-scale minimalism and it is highly repetitive, but even though the same notes and intervals keep repeating, the patterns slightly change throughout the piece. This is an attempt to unfold the many challenges of both interpreting, preparing and performing this 70 minute long solo piece for double bass consisting of a continuous stream of eight notes. It is largely based on my own experiences of preparing, rehearsing and performing Opus 17a, but also on interviews I have conducted with fellow bass players Robert Black and Tom Peters, who have both made recordings of this piece as well as having performed it live. One is met with few instrumental technical challenges such as fingering, string crossing and bowing when performing Opus 17a, but because of its long duration what one normally would take for granted could possibly prove to be challenging.
typeresearch exposition
keywordsMinimalism, Hanne Darboven, Opus 17a, Double Bass, Extended Duration, Unfolding, minimalism, hanne darboven, opus 17a, double bass, extended duration, unfolding
last modified06/11/2019
share statusprivate
licenseAll rights reserved
published inNorwegian Academy of Music
portal issue3. Unfolding the process

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