Aschenblume (2001)

Mauro Lanza

flute, clarinet, piano, two percussions, violin, viola, cello, and double bass

Aschenblume is the story of an existential parable, or rather of this parable’s final descent. The story’s protagonist is a musical situation that is repeated several times at the beginning of the work (a kind of rhythmic ostinato that gradually stiffens into a maintained chord). Its primary feature is duration. If durability implies the capacity to evolve or to produce novelties, then this initial musical situation - which is intrinsically moving even before it is altered - is almost a metaphor for durability and contains its own future voyage, its adventure.

Throughout the piece the protagonist undergoes several metamorphoses, producing situations that are increasingly distant from the initial one. Simultaneously, a process of progressive erosion diminishes its duration. What might have been perceived as a section at the beginning of the piece slowly becomes not much more than a grain of sand, an atom stripped of its qualitative properties. Thus, the process of progressive differentiation that has taken place up until now has been in vain.

«Aschenblume» - a German word from a poem by Paul Celan - is the name given to ashes that take the shape of a flower as they settle. This work was commissioned by the French Ministry of Culture and the Court-Circuit Ensemble. It is dedicated in memory of Gérard Grisey.

Mauro Lanza