four pieces for mixed choir, piano, clarinet, bass clarinet (1 player), and percussion (1 player) on paintinfs by Paul Klee (2000). 17'
Paul Klee has always seemed to me the most musical painter of the twentieth century. His ambition, as well as that of Kandinsky, was to come in his paintings as close as possible to the abstract world of sensations characteristic of music. This finds its expression in endless variations: at times, it is expressed in a rather direct way in paintings like The Drummer, Heroic Fiddling, Fugue in Red, etc. At times the approach is more subtle as in Ancient Sound, Pastorale, Harmony of Northern Bloom, Polyphonically Shaped White, etc. However, beyond the titles of the paintings, Klee's world is basically a lyric-colorful-structural one, nearing the essence of music more than that of any other painter.
Klee himself was a highly professional violinist and early in his life he considered embarking on a musical career, but he came to the conclusion that painting was more appropriate for his spiritual world and poured the music of his soul onto the many canvases he painted. Most of his paintings are of small dimensions and many of them remind me of the term "Moment Musical", both as far as size and concentration on few basic elements are concerned.
In this work, my relation to the paintings is sometimes free-associative and sometimes more direct.
The work was commissioned by the Saarland Radio Choir directed by Georg Gruen and was premiered on October 1st 2000 at the Hannover Expo 2000.