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Lebewohl  (2012)

duration ca. 7:00

available from the composer


for 16 brass divided into two antiphonal choirs

6 horns in F, 2 tubas

piccolo trumpet, 3 trumpets in C, 4 trombones

Program Note

Lebewohl, the German word for farewell, takes its musical inspiration from the Beethoven piano sonata of the same name. Beethoven inscribed the word over the first three notes of his op. 81a and dedicated it to a patron, Archduke Rudolph, on the occasion of his departure from Vienna preceding Napoleon’s invasion. I have quoted the opening four measures of that work in this short piece, and used his three-note motive as the generating material for the entire composition. The piece is scored for 16 brass instruments divided into two choirs and spaced antiphonally. The first choir, of the conical bore brass instruments, consists of 6 horns and 2 tubas; the second, of the cylindrical bore brass, consists of 4 trumpets and 4 trombones. My Lebewohl was composed on the occasion of another departure; it marks the retirement of a long-serving Dean from the Hong Kong Baptist University Faculty of Arts.

Lebewohl was premiered by the brass of the Hong Kong Baptist University Symphony Orchestra conducted by Johnny Poon on March 7, 2012 , at the Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall.

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