Method of Composition

The musical texture of the opera arises out of the seamless network of the musical fragments that give the roles their voices. According to the length of the texts, the musical quotations can consist of a few beats or, in the case of longer quotations, of entire sections of works. Compound sections of works from one or several compositions are frequently used, however, especially with longer arias or recitatives, in order to arrive at a musical reflection of the text-flow and meaning. All the musical networks, within a single composer or also with each other, obey strict rules of composition in structure and harmony so that a fluent listening experience is guaranteed. The musical fragments have been processed accordingly. It was also important to consider the vocal ranges of the individual stage roles in this selection and processing, for the musical material is borrowed from the entire oeuvre of the composers. Many work fragments have been correspondingly processed for the selected orchestral ensemble as well. They are occasionally instrumented down, as with Wagner, for example, or arranged in an orchestral version for the first time, as with work quotations from chamber or piano music.


Similarly to the technique of cutting in film, we have developed various possibilities of work networking. Work networking can be achieved through direct assembly or dissolving, in which work-motifs can overlap, echoing beforehand or afterwards. In particular, very brief fragments of works can be linked in such a way that new, coherent musical lines can arise out of different work-quotations, indeed different composers. Larger simultaneously sounding work-overlaps have also been developed, such as in the trio in the finale of the opera. These work-overlaps are of course executed in accordance with the strict rules of tonal composition. If the musical languages of the individual composers remain easily recognisable with this collage technique, then an interesting new listening experience will arise out of the density of the alternating musical languages.


The Ring Parable at the end of the second act was given special treatment. It was designed in the form of a melodrama and is spoken simultaneously with excerpts from Mendelssohn's string quartets, which also sound as a string quartet. This design generates an intentional, unique change of mood and increases the comprehensibility of the text, which is very important to us here.


With the collage technique that we have developed here, we are entering into unknown territory in the so-called field of serious music. One related procedure is found in the technique of the pasticcio. In this procedure, only entire parts of works - mostly in the form of whole arias - are assembled anew and are usually by one composer. Another related technique is found in certain musical humoresques which are, however, usually new compositions by composers and use parts of works for the sake of recognition.


To be sure, it will only be possible to repeat the collage technique used by us a limited number of times, for it requires a context to provide it with meaning. This notwithstanding, we have given this compositional collage technique the Latin name "musica allata", which virtually means "fetched-up music".


Both the piano reduction and the orchestral score specifically indicate all the musical quotations; these are listed in an Appendix with a precise indication of sources.