Commissioned work: Auftragswerk der Bayerischen Akademie der Schönen Künste
Premiere: November 27, 1999 München, Bayerischer Rundfunk (D) · Muriel Cantoreggi, Violine; Rüdiger Lotter, Violine; Hariolf Schlichtig, Viola; Christoph Richter, Violoncello; Jörg Widmann, Klarinette; Silke Avenhaus, Klavier
Instrumentation: piano, string quartet and clarinet in Bb (bassclarinet in Bb)
Publisher: Schott Music
Duration: 13' 0''
Year of composition: 1999
Edition: score and parts
132 Pages - Saddle stitching
Order number: ED 9744
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With the title of this composition, Fever Fantasy, Jörg Widmann refers to its musical air: ‘I often feel Robert Schumann‘s melodic shape to be like the amplitude of a temperature curve: nervous, ﬂickering, feverish, an inﬁnite number of small and large wave crests and troughs within the principal line.’
The composer approaches this sound phenomenon with a setting for acoustic instruments. Nevertheless, he succeeds in conjuring up very unusual sound spectrums. Over long sections, the notation of this score mirrors the musical progressions, containing no concrete pitches but detailed performance instructions instead. Slowly, individual tones emerge
from ascending pizzicato lines, colourless sound surfaces, sounds of harmonics roughened by tremolos, and virtuoso clarinet scales, tones that do not reveal their origin until the work ends: C - F - E - D sharp, the beginning of Schumann’s ﬁrst violin sonata.
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