Michael Schneider

06.09.1964

Michael Schneider studied musicology, modern history and art history at the University of Zurich. He studied composition at the conservatory in Berne under Dimitri Terzakis and attended a master class in composition given by Edison Denissow. He is a member of the composers group 'Groupe Lacroix' and has so far received commissions for compositions from Pro Helvetia (Swiss Culture Foundation), the 'Mitteldeutschen Rundfunks' (mid German radio station), the 'Ensemble Contrechamps' the 'Musica Vocalis Rara' and others. He has also received a financial award form the canton of Aargau. He is active in a variety of areas within culture mediation including the 'Stapferhaus' in Lenzburg, 'Jeunesses Musicales' in Aargau, Peter Mieg Foundation, management of Pan Musikverlag (publishers) and the 'Museum der Kulturen Basel' (Culture museum in Basel). He was resident in Sydney in 1998/99 where he made numerous connections with the Australian music scene (New Music Network, Australian Music Centre, Peter Sculthorpe). He is artistic director of the Wettingen Chamber Concerts.

Michael Schneider
Hungerbergstrasse 26
CH-5000 Aarau
Fon: +41 (0)62 822 84 81
E-mail: schneider-etter@dplanet.ch


Scores


La beauté retrouvée (1991)
4'
for four-handed piano
Order No: 10201, sFr. 16.00
In memory of Peter Mieg. A relatively simple piano part in space notation, fragile sounds form the basis of a dialogue between the players.

Evokation (1991)
5'
for violin, clarinet and piano
Order No: 10202, sFr. 18.00
Impulsive, feverish movements with lyrical bright spells.

Licht über Schatten (1993)
7'
for two flutes
Order No: 10205, sFr. 18.00
Filigree, poetic sound study; simultaneously a piece based on a motto by Ossip Mandelstam that sets the hope of powerlessness against violence.

Über verwunschenen Ebenen (1994/95)
7'
for chamber ensemble (0.1.1.1/1.0.0.0/1perc/2.1.1.1)
Order No: 10207, sFr. 34.00
This piece evokes, magical, mystical (sound) landscapes - mostly in space notation.

Desii e terre nuove (1995)
12'
for two pianos
Order No: 10209, sFr. 44.00
Voci sotto un cielo tremolante - Epitaffio sulle corde - Gli uccelli di Brancusi - Un momento nella ulisza studentscheskaja. Four characteristic pieces with non-musical references and an iridescent piano passage. The first and third parts are demanding, the second part is to be performed exclusively on the strings.

Laufen auf dünnem Eis (1992/96)
7'
for orchestra (pic.2.1.ca.2.1.cbn/4.2.3.1/1perc/str)
Order No: 10210, sFr. 36.00
Dynamic with contrasting blocks of sound in the orchestration and short intermezzi with transparent melodic fragments shining through.

Kailash (1996)
8'
for horn and piano
Order No: 10211, sFr. 26.00
Drawn-out lines of the horn face gong-beats and dazzling interpolations of a piano prepared with two chains.

touch(e)! (1996)
10'
for piano trio
Order No: 10212, sFr. 26.00
Sharp piano accents and floating string glissandi combine to form an expressive gestus. Dramatic and lyrical moments with an epitaph as coda.

Colors and Countenance (1996/97)
8'
for Soprano and wind quintet
Order No: 10214, sFr. 31.00
Texts: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson In May when south winds pierced our solitudes - A light exists in spring. Sensible American natural poetry by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Emily Dickinson. From a fading vocal part dotted with various natural effects to a network of variously coloured instrumental timbres.

Schubert überquert die Donau bei Wien (1997)
7'
for string trio
Order No: 10215, sFr. 21.00
Ten episodes for string trio, which has to manage with the notes from twelve bars of Schubertís posthumous Impromptu D 946/I. The single episodes merge with each other in a metamorphosis of several playing techniques.

67 pas sur la nappe de l'étang glacé (1997)
4'
for oboe and a frozen lake (play-back)
Order No: 10216, sFr. 13.00
(DAT available from the composer.)
In memory of Edison Denissow. A relatively simple oboe piece with glistening, breathing sounds provided by the play-back (DAT).

Gorillas are sleeping at night (1997)
10'
for soprano, alto, mixed choir (SATB) and four-handed piano with small percussion
Order No: 10217, sFr. 49.00
A lyrical and atmospheric piece about the world of mountain gorillas. The choir parts can be performed by a good amateur choir, the small percussion instruments (cymbals, small tam-tam, wood blocks, glass rattle) are to be played by the pianists.

Licht bei Vermeer (1997/98)
12'
for eight-part choir (SSAATTBB), basset horn and vibraphone
Order No: 10218, sFr. 36.00
Texts: Vincent van Gogh, Pieter Teding van Berckhout, Dirk Hannema, Catharina Bolnes, everyday language A secretive choral study about light and colour in seven pictures by Jan Vermeer. Demanding intonation in the chorus parts iridescently combined with the basset horn and vibraphone.

Mandorla (1998)
3'
for piano
Order No: 10219, sFr. 16.00
A relatively simple piano piece with numerous ecclesiastical references.

Strassburgkonfiguration (1998)
3'
for vocals and piano
Order No: 10223, sFr. 18.00
A text by Hans Arp on the emergence of Dada in 1916. Contains numerous musical cross references and aleatoric passages; ambitious a-a" vocal range.

Shark Turtle Ray (1998/99)
7'
for oboe, viola and guitar
Order No: 10221, sFr. 21.00
Three imaginary images after Paul Klee. As far as interpretation is concerned (multiphonics, quarter tones), the passages are demanding and alternate between rugged and meditative sound gestures.

I giganti nell'autosilo (1999)
11'
for a-cappella choir (high register)
Order No: 10222, sFr. 39.00
Text: Franz Hohler I giganti nell'autosilo - Una storia misteriosa - Il maiale di marzapane. Three absurd stories are narrated in a paradoxical spectrum of sung, spoken and whispered passages. A small percussion instrument played by a choir member is also in the score.

Im innersten Winter (requiem) (1999)
14'
for speaker, bass clarinet and guitar
Order No: 10224, sFr. 31.00
Text: Andreas Neeser Economically used filigree sounds and gestures by both instruments accentuate eight poems on death and transience.

Intarsien (1998/00)
7'
Four miniatures
for Soprano and piano after text by Ulrich Suter
Order No: 10227, sFr. 16.00
Text: Ulrich Suter Filigree sketches where the quasi-obligatory piano sparingly adds 'shades' to the central soprano.

Distant calls (1999/00)
11'
for saxophone quartet and piano
Order No: 10225, sFr. 31.00
Derived from physiological characteristics, the mystery of the Tasmanian Tiger is evoked by the martellato gestures and extensive sound arches of the piano. Experienced amateurs can perform this piece.

Voiles (2000)
6'
3 Sketches
for three oboes
Order No: 10226, sFr. 16.00
Three different 'veils' for oboe trio which attempt to avoid the typical oboe stereotypes.

Es werde Licht (2000)
7'
for viola solo
Order No: 10228, sFr. 16.00
Begining with the tuning of the strings, the soloist throws him/herself into the flow of the music and explores the instrument: it is an absolute theatrical and virtuoso piece about the polarity of "before" and "during" the concert.

Mandorla (1998/01)
5'
for soprano saxophone solo
Order No: 10230, sFr. 16.00
A transcription of the 'sacral' piano piece bearing the same name. To be played as a floating ritual.

Rubin (2001)
11'
for string orchestra
Order No: 10229, sFr. 34.00
A 'newly composed' passage from Pergolesi's Stabat Mater where the original passage (fragments of which continually emerge) is bejewelled with a fluctuating net of sounds and sound surfaces.

Gand (2005)
5'
for baritone solo
Order No: 10231, sFr. 31.00
Alpine prayers, ominous forebodings, catharsis: archetypal motives from the mythology of canton Uri, which, in this piece, correspond to sound symbols which range in a dramatic arch from peace to outrage and punishment.

A Dictionary of Maladies (2002-2006)
30'
Chamber opera
for two deep voices and chamber ensemble (cl(bcl).asx(barsx).bn(cbn)/egtr/perc(two players)/vc.db)
Order No: 10232, sFr. 99.00
Itís 1920ís England and two men meet in the broadmoor asylum, an institution for the criminally insane. William Minor, a former doctor during the American Civil War and one of the most important contributors to the Oxford Dictionary of English is amongst the inmates. John Ruskin, the symbolistic painter and writer is a guest. Both are helplessly exposed to the storms of the twentieth century. The world, so they believe, can be saved only when both have freed themselves from sin. A fragile balance between life and death develops over the four dramatic scenes of this chamber opera. The dense and complex libretto by the Australian author Jen Craig highlights obsessions, memories and hopes in a world caught between reality and delusion, guilt and expiation. The music is built upon keywords from the text (rolling, spitting, gliding, breathing) and evokes, in addition, contrasting sound worlds: pitch-black waves, grotesque accents, erotic and fear associations, breathing as lifeís essence.

Painting / Orange (2007)
8'
for organ and saxophone
Order No: 10233, sFr. 26.00

Fussball (2008)

4 Etüden
for piano solo
Order No: 10234, sFr. 21.00

Die chemischen Elemente (2008)
6'
for flute, saxophone and vibraphone
Order No: 10235, sFr. 26.00
The structure and course of this piece is based on the periodic table of chemical elements. The three instruments represent specific groups of elements within the seven periods of the periodic system (metals, transition metals, non-metals, noble gasses). Small variations in playing technique and "plasticity" represent the chemical properties of each single element in one-bar 5/4 "portraits", which are linked to form a suspended tonal stream.

Järvi (2009)
8'
for violoncello solo
Order No: 10236, sFr. 18.00
Järvi (Finnish = lake) relates a single cycle of the seasons from January to December based on the average temperatures and precipitation volumes in Punkaharju/Southeast Finland. This piece was created for performance at the Schweizerischen Jugendmusikwettbewerb and offers within ist dramaturgical arc an introduction to various contemporary playing techniques for the violoncello.

Fanfare for Sandringham (1991-2010)
2
for trumpet and trombone
Order No: 10237, sFr. 16.00
"Bright and noble" - a festive fanfare in D flat major.

Ballade (Dällebach Kari) (2011)
3
for vocal quartet (SATB)
Order No: 10238, sFr. 21.00
Arrangement after Mani Matter.

Chue am Waldrand (2011)
3
for vocal quartet (SATB)
Order No: 10239, sFr. 23.00
Arrangement after Mani Matter.

Gran Partita (2011)
13'
for wind septet (fl, ob, cl, bh, bcl, bn, hn)
Order No: 10240, sFr. 42.00
"The seagull continues to play. But she is no longer alone. They came one after the other, against the wind. A bassoon is here, a long, thin lament; an oboe, guttural; a horn, horns, various colours, dry in the brass; a deep voice, a sonorous bass draws long, thick threads through the sound carpet. Above me on the craggy ledge sit thirteen seagulls, each with a tone of its own. Highs and lows, warmth and coolness, a mystical choir, a serenade from within the wind." The number of seagulls in this excerpt from a short story by the Swiss author Andreas Neeser makes reference to the number of instruments in Mozart's famous wind serenade 'Gran Partitia', which also lends its name to Neeser's short story. Published in a volume of stories entitled 'Unsicherer Grund' or 'Unsafe Ground' (Haymon, 2010), Neeser's 'Gran Partita' pays homage to nature and the legends of Bretagne: An observation made at the westernmost side of Bretagne and a metaphor within which man and his emotions are mirrored. Commissioned by the Bläsersolisten Aargau, my 'Gran Partita' reflects the music in Neeser's text and the nature it evokes - the structural elements of the short story and also the geology and fauna of Bretagne. The instrument's scales symbolise granite, the predominant stone in this area, and the vegetation and topos of the sea and the call of the seagulls. Non-musical parameters define the musical material, the form of which offers absolute priority to the melodic line. This leads to an autonomous sound metaphor comprising lines and colours, that makes the underlying substance as an explanation no longer necessary.


Discs


Groupe Lacroix
Jean-Luc Darbellay: Empreintes
Marianne Schroeder: Tombal
Christian Henking: Novalis 24
John Wolf Brennan: Rhap.s.odie
Michael Schneider: touch(e)!
Michael Baumgartner: Berceuse
Edison Denissov: Variations on a Theme by Schubert
(Moskau Rachmaninov Trio)


Creative Works Records CW 1030
SME/EMS Order Nr.: 128
Price CHF: 30.-



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