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Streich's HÄNDEKÜSSEN premieres in Cologne

Streich's HÄNDEKÜSSEN premieres in Cologne

On 9 February, HÄNDEKÜSSEN, a new work by ricordilab laureate Lisa Streich, will be premiered at the Cologne Philharmonie. Performed by Hofkapelle München under Rüdiger Lotter, the piece was commissioned by KölnMusik for “The non bthvn project”, a series of concerts featuring new works focused on Beethoven’s everyday life rather than his music. Streich was inspired by a brief remark in one of Beethoven’s conversation books in which he describes in some detail people’s reactions to his behaviour during conversation. As the title HÄNDEKÜSSEN (Hand-kissing) suggests, Streich’s new piece for baroque orchestra explores the (in)significance of this once widespread custom.

HÄNDEKÜSSEN (2019)

for baroque orchestra
2.2.0.2 – 2.0.0.0 – 5.4.3.2.1
Duration: 12' 
WP: Hofkapelle München, 09.02.2020


Picture of Hofkapelle Muenchen
Hofkapelle München

Composer’s note

"Hand-kissing is no good" reads a sentence in Beethoven’s conversation books. That word caught my attention because it’s a custom that has almost completely disappeared in our social milieu. In my piece the dance partners repeatedly ask each other to dance in their imaginations – with a kiss of the hand (maybe). There was imaginary dancing in various places at various times. Paris in 1928, Berlin in 1939, New York in 1920, Buenos Aires, in 2009, Berlin in 2019 and Berlin in 1981. I try to imagine what it is like for a deaf person to dance. The dance steps are transmitted via the bones to the inner ear; sometimes deeply concealed scraps of music emerge but overlapping the dance steps. The orchestra is divided in two, with the right half taking over the steps of the right foot and the left half taking over the steps of the left foot. The listeners are seated, as it were, in the deaf person’s auditory canal. An overlaid mosaic of dance steps, dance music and shoes shuffling across the dance floor forms the basis of HÄNDEKÜSSEN (Hand-kissing).
Lisa Streich


Score of Händeküssen








Photo: Manu Theobald (Lisa Streich), Christine Schneider (Hofkapelle München)