Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen
Minnewater: Thousands of Canons (1988)
Large Ensemble (7 or more players)
MINNEWATER means ‘love water’/‘love lake’, but when I began to compose the work, this direct meaning of the title was not very important to me. Rather the word itself had a magical sound. Later on, however, it occurred to me that the piece was full of mumbling swells and swarming cascades, and the sensation of water is perhaps most perceptible towards the end where lots of falling water movements are felt behind the emphasized rhythmic surface. Falls that moreover, quite literally at the end, sinks into the water.
MINNEWATER has a subtitle: THOUSANDS OF CANONS, which directly refers to a compostion technique where all layers and elements in the music constantly are imitated; possibly waves imitating each other?
The mudded and impalpable beginning of the work takes its starting point in one of my earlier pieces, the sextett LES TUCHINS (in fact the first 5 or 6 pages of the two pieces are quite identical but in MINNEWATER it is all ‘blown up’ to a larger ensemble). Quite soon, however, the thread to LES TUCHINS is cut off and it goes its own way;
From the mumbling in the start - through swarming trills and pointilistic staccato movements - to a long section where the trumpet appears as a soloist and in a way conducts the movements of the remaining ensemble right to the rhythmic final section of the piece.
MINNEWATER was commissioned by the Danish Radio for the German Ensemble Modern.
Jules van Hessen
Large Ensemble (7 or more players):