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Matthias Pintscher

Study I for Treatise on the Veil

for violin and violoncello

(2004)
Duration17'
CommissionCommissioned by Frank Peter Zimmermann and Heinrich Schiff
PremiereJune 21, 2005; Berlin, Germany; Frank Peter Zimermann, violin • Heinrich Schiff, cello
PublisherBärenreiter

Program Note

In the early 1970s American painter Cy Twombly created a series of art works called "Treatise on the Veil" – it included numerous sketches and two major paintings.

My own Treatise cycle refers to this series of work, while also acting as an hommage to an artist I very much admire; an artist whose work heavily influenced the structural make-up of my very own compositions, especially in recent years.

"Veil" is a term that, when used with an audio or visual reference has multiple meanings – and these are perticularly welcome when listening to this piece of music.

Cy Twombly also refers to "veil" as a derivation of the italian "velo", which is a drawing instrument developed by Leonardo da Vinci to help detect and analyse perspective.

And thus my musical discourse is indicative of my attempts to draw this perspective line.

By the use of several, multilayered composition and playing techniques, I try to create exactly this allusion of crossing lines with each other.

Similar to the line sketched on a surface, long-drawn notes ("lines") appear to develop an added dimension of space, in alignment to the audio perspective.

Amongst other things, the processes of veiling/unveiling are achieved by the preparation of the instruments, thus prising open the actual audible result of articulation and having it appear in a "different quality".

I often find myself wishing that I was able to draw directly onto the sound of the instruments like a painter…

- Matthias Pintscher

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