ein schemen

Harp, choir, electronics

This composition is a reworking of Ein Deutsches Requiem by Johannes Brahms. The seven movements, which flow seamlessly from one another, are each based on the corresponding movement from the original Brahms Requiem. The music focuses on a small number of elements from the original material and stretches it out into a landscape. Time is suspended and the listener can navigate in the space, moving through traces of Brahms. The music of the harp which frames the choir parts, is an encoding of the original texts from the Requiem. It creates a perspective on the static flow of the choir and electronic parts which changes gradually through the piece. The title of this recomposition is a quote from a line in part III: “Sie gehen daher wie ein Schemen”. “Ein Schemen” is an old German word for shadow or apparition, probably derived from the Latin word “Schema”. I find it an apt word to use in this context because it reflects the nature of this piece. It is both about the connection of the living to the dead, and at the same time, it says something about the relation of this piece to the original work of Brahms. It is composed in its shadow and it is permeated by his notes as ghostly presences.

Commissioned by Tido Visser for the Nederlands Kamerkoor and Remy van Kesteren, under the direction of Peter Dijkstra.

Premiere: 18th May 2017 at the Muziekgebouw, Eindhoven.

The music can be ordered from Donemus Publishing House, Amsterdam.

Ein Schemen performance