Die Kürze (Brevity) was composed in 1969, and is dedicated to the pianist Robert Levin, who took part in its first performance at the New York Composer’s Forum. Subsequently performers include the Fires of London and the chamber ensemble of the New England Conservatory. The work is a very intimate chamber piece, aphoristic in nature, divided into three short movements.
The first movement is an exchange between the piano and the other players, both in lyrical isolation. This is followed by a kind of burlesque, a series of bravura solos ending in a mock-arisos. The last movement is a wordless setting of Hölderlin’s Die Kürze.