Haiku

Year of composition
2004
Scored for
for baritone and 10 instruments
Composer
Georg Friedrich Haas
Text author
Yosa Buson
Soloists
baritone
Instrumentation
ob, bsn, perc(2), hp, pno, acc, vla, vc, cb
Instrumentation details

oboe (+c.a
ob.d’a
heckelphone)
bassoon
1st percussion
2nd percussion
harp
piano
accordion
viola
violoncello
contrabass

Commissioned by

Auftragskomposition des Klangforum Wien

Duration
15′
Dedication
“Das Stück ist meiner Frau Yasuko gewidmet”

World Premiere

Location: Witten / Germany
Date: 24.04.2005
Orchestra: Klangforum Wien
Conductor: Johannes Kalitzke
Main soloists: Georg Nigl, Stimme

Work introduction

Die Nacht so kurz – oh! [The night so short – oh!]
Und im Haar der Raupe [And in the caterpillar’s hair]
Perlen von Tau [Pearls of dew]
(Buson Yosa, 1716 – 1784)

Haiku is a traditional form of Japanese poetry defined by the number of syllables per line (5/7/5 – I dispensed with this formal rule in the German translation) and by the requirement that the season is defined by one – and only one – predication (“The night so short” = summer).

Although emotions are not in evidence, the haiku form is a framework providing space for differing – even contrasting – feelings. This is repeatedly presented in my setting of Buson’s poems, whereby identical words are differently coloured in progression by the choice of musical resources, thus altering their expression and their enigmatical significance.

Haiku was written for Klangforum Wien and baritone Georg Nigl, with whom I have been working in close association for years; it is dedicated to my wife Yasuko.

© Georg Friedrich Haas
Translation © 2012 Grant Chorley

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