Laman, Wim

Wim Laman is als componist grotendeels autodidact. Tijdens zijn universiteitsstudie voeren studentenorkesten zijn eerste composities uit. Hierna wordt zijn werk opgemerkt door de professionele muziekwereld. Laman componeert voor o.a. het ...

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Wahnfried : oder die Wagnerdämmerung, 1979 / Wim Laman

Uitgever: Amsterdam: Donemus, cop. 1980
Uitgavenummer: 04373
Genre: Orkest
Subgenre: Orkest
Bezetting: 3333 6332 5perc str(
Bijzonderheden: Voor orkest en figurant. - Tijdsduur: 15'30''
Tijdsduur: 15'00"
Compositiejaar: 1979
Status: volledig gedigitaliseerd (direct leverbaar)

Program note (English): Wahnfried is a subjective reaction to the music and ideas of Richard Wagner. Inspired by the notorious revival of the Bayreuth ritual (in 1976), the novels by Louis Ferron, and a number of motion pictures by Hans-Jürgen Syberberg, I have shaped this reaction in the form of a "commentary-in-music". In doing so I was confronted time and again by a duality: on the one hand the often moving music (even though Wagner's music does not always arouse my admiration), on the other hand the repulsive political and racist views of Wagner and his circle.
Although at first he was a hot-headed revolutionary, his ideas acquired increasingly nihilist overtones under the influence of Schopenhauer, who unleashed in him a lusting after death: "... it is the heartfelt and fervent longing for death: complete loss of consciousness, utterly being nothing, the disappearance of all dreams - the only ultimate redemption! -" (to Franz Liszt, autumn 1854).
By the time he was taken charge of by Ludwig II of Bavaria (and by the latter's purse), "Germany's large Question Mark" (according to Nietzsche) revealed himself as the uncompromising architect of the fossilized myth Bayreuth and creator of a delusive system of god-men and death lust which later was elevated without any effort to become the façade of Hitler's 'Gesamtkunstwerk' ("whoever wants to understand Nazi Germany should know Wagner", according to Hitler as quoted in Shires's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich). Thus, the "Bayreuther Blätter" were adorned right from the start (1878) with racist and nationalist German articles; and Wagner approvingly learnt about the ideas of Houston Stewart Chamberlain and Lecomte de Gobineau -two of the main founders of the Nazi ideology. German's "Question Mark" had turned into a disease, according to Nietzsche in Der Fall Wagner (The Wagner Case, 1888).
For the musical structure of Wahnfried I borrowed a number of chords from Wagner works which I reduced to a modus, which I used in all possible transpositions. Although "Vagierende Akkorde" ("vagrant chords" - chords without a direct tonal relationship: according to Schönberg the essential characteristic of Wagner's harmony) were often used, the shaping of the melody and the harmonic structure go hand in hand by means of a systematic approach which is to guarantee cohesion.
Although, at first, I had some doubts as to the use of direct quotes, I have nonetheless included a number of quotes (from Tristan0 and the Ring). After all, how can one present Richard Wagner in a composition without entering his domain? As far as I am concerned, imitation of style could be construed as a homage without being intended or wanted as such. With Wagner, ethics and aesthetics are extensions of each other - and often in an ambiguous manner -, in Wahnfried they are each other's opposites - with an unambiguous ending. - WIM LAMAN

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