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Febel, Reinhard

 

STAGE WORKS

Raum 17 • [2008]  
After the painting „Rokeby Venus” by Diego Velasquez
Music theatre for four voices and chamber ensemble
Text: Reinhard Febel
two voices (S. T.), Diego (Sch), Venus (Sch)
2 (Picc. BFl). 0. 2 (BCl). 0. / Guit. Hp. Perc. Pno (Cem). / 1. 1. 2. 2. 1. (or 1. 0. 1. 1. 1.)
Part 3 of „Morde in Bildern”
World Premiere: 16.5.2009, Kiel
Duration: 30’
Sy. 3733 // *Score / Vx.

Morde in Bildern
• [2005-08]  
Music theatre in three parts for two singer, two actors and chamber orchestra after paintings of Frida Kahlo, Edward Hopper and Diego Velazquez
Text: Reinhard Febel
S. Bar. 2 Sch.
2 (Picc. BFl). 0. 2 (BCl). 0. / Guit. Hp. Perc. Pno (Cem). / 1. 1. 2. 2. 1. (or 1. 0. 1. 1. 1.)
see also „Frida”, „Gespensterhaus” and „Raum 17”
World Premiere: 16.5.2009, Kiel
Duration: full length
Sy. // Score / Vx.

Gespensterhaus • [2006]
A horror scene after „Haunted House” by Edward Hopper
Music theatre for vier voices and ensemble
Text: Reinhard Febel
Paar I (S. T.), Paar II (2 Sch).
2 (Picc). 0. 2 (BCl). 0. / Perc. Pno. / 1. 1. 2. 2. 1. (or 1. 0. 1. 1. 1.)
Part 2 of „Morde in Bildern“.
World Premiere: 1.8.2007, Salzbourg
Duration: 30’
Sy. 3732 // *Score / Vx.    

Frida • [2005]
A dream scene after „Unos quantos piquetitos” by Frida Kahlo
Music theatre for three voices and ensemble
Text: Reinhard Febel
S/Spr (woman I), Bar/Spr (men), Spr (woman II)
Fl (Picc. BFl). 2 (BCl). 1 Perc. Vl. Vla. Vc.
Part 1 of „Morde in Bildern“.
World Premiere: 1.8.2005, Salzbourg
Duration: 20’
Sy. 3702 // *Score / Vx.

Lichtung • [2000]  
Play for three actors and music
Text: Reinhard Febel
On stage: three persons A, B and C, human form (muted)
invisible: 4 female voices 2 S, Ms, A, 3 B
3 Cl. 3 Tr. Hr. 2 Tbn. Tb. 4 Perc. Tape. Live-El.
World Premiere: 10.05.2001, Bonn
Duration: 99’
Sy. 3514 // *Score / Vx./ Cla. / Carr. / Live-El.

Beauty • [1995/96]
Music theatre
Text: Lukas Hemleb (after a newspaper story)
Linda (S), Brad (muted role/actor), Mom (T), Dad (Bar), Beauty (T), Coyote (Bar), voices in orchestra pit: S, 2 Ms, 3 T, 4 Bar, 2 Spr.
4 (4 Picc). 2. 4 (2 BCl). 2. CBn. / 4. 3. 3. 1. / Pno. 4 Perc. / Str.
World Premiere: 14.9.1996, Hagen
Duration: full length
Sy. 3312 // Score / Cla. / Vx.

Morels Erfindung • [1993/94]  
Opera in one act  
Text: Lukas Hemleb; after Adolfo Bioy Casares (La invencion de Morel)
Arturo (T), Faustine (S), Morel (Bar), Haynes (B), Dora (Ms), Alec (high T), Irène (high S), Antoine (Bar), Jane (A), Two servants (muted)
2 (Picc). 1 (Eng.Hn). 3 (BCl). 2 (CBn). / 2. 2. 2. 2 (Ttb, Btb). / Hp. Pno. 3 Perc. / 6. 6. 4. 4. 3.
World Premiere: 6.11.1994, Darmstadt
Duration: full length
Sy. 3106 // Score / Cla. / Vx./ Libr.

Sekanden and Jahre des Caspar Hauser • [1991/92]
Opera in three acts and nine pictures
Text: Lukas Hemleb
Caspar (Bar), Caroline (S), Stanhope (T), Feuerbach (B), Daumer (T), Hennenhofer/ black man (B), Landstreicher/Caspardarsteller (Bar), 1. Companion/foster-father (T), 2. Companion (Bar), 3. Companion (B), Neighbour/Night lover 1 (S), foster-mother/ Night lover 2 (A), Teacher/Host (Bar), Daumer-actor/Secretary 1 (T), Feuerbach-actor/ Secretary 2 (B), Caroline-actor (S), Caspar-actor/maybe Landstreicher (Bar), Guests, Audience (Choir SATB)
3 (3 Picc). 3 (Eng.Hn). 3 (BCl). 3 (CBn). / 4. 3. 3. 2 (Tentb, Btb). / 3 Perc. Pno (Cel). Hp. / Str. / stage music (7 Instr.)
World Premiere: 12.4.1992, Dortmand
Duration: full length
Sy. 3066 // Score / Cla. / Vx./ *Libr.

Nacht mit Gästen • [1987/88]
Music theatre
Text: arranged by Reinhard Febel after Peter Weiss
Man (Bar), Woman (S), 1Child (S), 2. Child (A), Guests (T), Warner (B)
1 (Picc). 0. 1 (BCl). Asax. 0. / 1. 1. 1. 0. / 3 Perc. Guit. Pno. / 3. 3. 3. 3. 2.
World Premiere: 15.5.1988, Kiel
Duration: full length
Sy. 3035 // Score / Cla. / Vx./ Libr.

Euridice
• [1983]
Chamber opera after Jacopo Peri
Text: Helmut Danninger (after Ottavio Rinuccini)
Euridice (Ms), Orfeo (Bar), Ninfa (S), Dafne (S), Venus (A), Prosperina (A), Pastore/Caronte (T), Aminta (T), Arcetro (B), Pluto (B)
Choir SATB (je 2) / Fl (Picc, Afl). Cl (BCl). / Hr. Tbn. / 2 Perc. / 1. 0. 1. 1. 1. / Tape
World Premiere: 10.11.1983, Munich
Duration: full length
Sy. 2414 // Score / Cla. / Vx./ Carr.



ORCHESTRA WORKS

stelle • [2011]
(three) for orchestra
2. 2. 2. 2. / 4. 2. 2. 1. / Timp. 1 Perc. Hp. / 7. 6. 4. 3. 3.
World Premiere: 8.12.2011, Würzburg
Duration: 13’
Sy. 4172 // Score / Vx.

Berceuse avec cauchemar • [2007]
for orchestra
2. Picc. 2. Eng.Hn. 2. BCl. 2. CBn. / 4. 3. 3. 1. / Hp. Pno. Timp. Perc. / 12. 10. 8. 6. 4.
World Premiere: 29.1.2008, Freiburg
Duration: 17’
Sy. 3788 // Score / Vx.

Sphinxes • [2003/2004]
for orchestra
2. Picc. 2. Eng.Hn. 2. BCl. 2. CBn. / 4. 3. 3. 1. / Timp. 1 Perc. Pno. / Str:
World Premiere: 30.4.2004, Dublin
Duration: 20’
Sy. 3599 // Score / *Stud.-P. / Vx.

Wolkenstein • [2002/2003]  
Songs after texts and melodies of Oswald von Wolkenstein
Text: adaptations after Wolkenstein, new texts by Reinhard Febel
S. B. Sch (Spr). muted role   
Choir (SATB) / 1 (Picc). 1 (Eng.Hn). 0. 1 (CBn). / 1. 1. 1. 1. / 2 Perc. / 1. 0. 1. 1. 1. (or 4.0.4.3.2.)
Scenic as well as concertante performances are possible
World Premiere: 22.6.2003, Berlin
Duration: full length
Sy. 3570 // *Score / *Cla. / Choir-P. / Vx.

Fantasie über ein Thema von Franz Schubert • [1997]
for orchestra
2 Picc. / 4. 3. 3. 1. / Timp. 2 Perc. Pno / 12. 10. 8. 6. 4.
World Premiere: 30.9.1997, Hagen
Duration: 15’
Sy. 3377 // Score / Vx.

Vier Stücke für Violine und Orchester
• [1994]
Vl.
0. 0. 0. BCl. 1. CBn. / 2. 2. 1. 1. / Hp. Guit. Timp. 2 Perc. / 6. 6. 6. 6. 4.
World Premiere: 18.3.1995, Stuttgart
Duration: 25’
Sy. 3218 // *Score / Vx.

Jardín
• [1989]
for orchestra
4 Fl (4 Picc). 4 Ob (Eng.Hn). 4 Cl (BCl). 4 Fg (CBn). / 4. 4. 4. 1. / 3 Perc. Pno. Hp. / 12. 10. 8. 6. 4.
World Premiere: 15.10.1989, Berlin
Duration: 13’
Sy. 3073 // *Score / Vx.

David and Gollert oder Die Orchesterprobe
• [1987]
Dramatic scene for bass baritone and orchestra
Text: Paul Esterházy
Bbar.
1. Picc. 2. 1. BCl. Asax. 2. / 2. 1. 1. 1. / Timp. 2 Perc. E-Org. / Str.
Performable together with „Der Kapellmeister” by Domenico Cimarosa
World Premiere: 14.2.1988, Freiburg
Duration: 20’
Sy. 3044 // *Score / Cla. / Vx.

Sinfonie • [1985/86]
for large orchestra
2. Picc. 2. Eng.Hn. 2. BCl. 2. CBn. / 3. 3. 3. 1. / 3 Perc. Pno. Hp. / Str.
World Premiere: 19.10.1986, Donaueschingen
Duration: 28’
Sy. 3019 // *Score / Vx.

Das Unendliche • [1984]
for mezzo-soprano, baritone and orchestra
Text: Giacomo Leopardi
Ms. Bar.
3 (2 Picc). 2. Eng.Hn. 2. BCl. 2. CBn. / 3. 3. 3. 1. / 3 Perc. Pno. / 12. 12. 10. 8. 6.
World Premiere: 31.10.1984, Stuttgart
Duration: 16’
Sy. 2437 // *Score / Vx.

Konzert für Schlagzeug und Orchester
• [1981]
Perc.
3 (Picc). 2. Eng.Hn. 2. BCl. 2. CBn. / 3. 3. 3. 1. / Timp. Pno (Cel). / Str.
World Premiere: 15.6.1981, Hagen
Duration: 37’
Sy. 2375 // *Score / Vx.

Variationen für Orchester • [1980]
3 (Picc). 2. Eng.Hn. 2. BCl. 2. CBn. / 3. 3. 3. 1. / Timp. 2 Perc. Hp. Pno. / Str.
World Premiere: 4.10.1980, Stuttgart
Duration: 14’
Sy. 2349 // *Score / Vx.



ENSEMBLE WORKS (6 Instruments and more)

Bright Star • [2018]
for ensemble
after texts by John Keats
S, T, B, ob, sax, vl, vc, pf
Duration: 40'
World Premiere: 15.01.2019, Salzburg

Slumberland
• [2018]
for 6 pianists on 2 pianos, flute (piccolo), clarinet (bass clarinet), cello, percussion and conductor
World Premiere: 25.01.2019, Salzburg
Duration: 35'
Sy. 4830

Hyperklavier 4
 • [2016]
for piano solo, flute, oboe, clarinet (bass clarinet), bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, percussion and strings
solo-pf, fl, ob, cl, bsn, hn, tpt, trb, perc, str
World Premiere: 15.12. 2017, Salzburg
Duration: 9'
Sy. 4771

Hyperklavier 3 • 
[2016]
for piano solo, flute, clarinet, violin 1, violin 2, viola and cello
World Premiere: 22.6.2016, Daegu
Duration: 13'
Sy. 4770

Hyperklavier 2  [2016]
for piano solo, flute, clarinet, drum, violin and cello
World Premiere: 15.12.2017, Salzburg
Duration: 12'
Sy. 4769

Hyperklavier 1
 • [2015]
for piano solo and 13 instruments
pf. / 1. 1. 1 (bcl). 1. / 1. 1. 1. 0. / perc. / str.
World Premiere: 31.05.2015, Kyoto
Duration: 14'
Sy. 4425

eins
• [2010]
for brasses and percussion
2 Hr. 2 Tr. 2 Tbn. Tb. 2 Perc.
World Premiere: 19.12.2010, Salzburg
Duration: 9’
Sy. 4137 // *Score / Vx.

Sculpture / Motion Picture
• [1998]
Two pieces for nineteen strings
6. 5. 4. 3. 1.
Both parts are also separately performable.
World Premiere: 7.2.1999, Stuttgart
Duration: 21’
Sy. 3355 // *Score / Vx.

Konzert für Klavier und Blasinstrumente • [1988]
Pno.
2 Fl (Picc). 3 Cl (BCl). Asax. 2 Hr. Tr. Tbn. Tb.
World Premiere: 1988, Karlsruhe
Duration: 25’
Sy. 3058 // *Score / Vx.

Der Zauberbaum
• [1987]
Soandtrack for the WDR-Fernsehfilm of the same name by Peter Sloterdijk
for chamber ensemble
Text: Peter Sloterdijk
Fl (Picc). 2 Cl. BCl. Hr. Pno (Cem). Perc. 2 Vl. Vla. Vc. D.B.
Material on request
World Premiere: Cologne
Duration: 30’
Sy. 3045 // Score / Vx.

Joker • [1986]
for soprano and five instrumentalists
Text: Reinhard Febel
S.
Fl (Afl, Picc). Vc. Pno. Cel. Perc.
World Premiere: 1988, Kiel
Duration: 18’
Sy. 3030 // *Score / Vx.

Auf der Galerie
• [1985]
for eleven strings, after Franz Kafka
3. 0. 3. 3. 2.
World Premiere: 8.4.1985, Asolo
Duration: 16’
Sy. 2465 // *Score / Vx.

Nocturne I • [1982]
for chamber ensemble
Ob. Fg. Tr. Tbn. Vl. Vc. Pno. 2 Perc.
World Premiere: 23.9.1982, Barcelona
Duration: 20’
Sy. 2391 // *Score / Vx.

Charivari • [1979]
for fifteen instrumentalists
1. 1. 1. 1. / 1. 1. 1. 0. / Hp. Cel. 2 Perc. / 1. 0. 1. 1. 1.
World Premiere: 1980, Stuttgart
Duration: 14’
MMV 5233 // Score / Vx. / *Stud.-P.

Étude d‘exécution transcendante • [1979]
for fourteen instrumentalists
2. 0. 2. 0. / 1. 1. 1. 0. / Pno. Perc. / 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. / with el. amp. and several speakers
World Premiere: 1978, Paris
Duration: 13’
MMV 5234 // Score / Vx./ *Stud.-P.



CHAMBER MUSIC

Heimat? • [2017]
7 Lieder für Mezzsopran und Klavier
Dauer: 20'
Sy. 4844

Heimat? • [2017]
7 Lieder für Bariton und Klavier
Uraufführung: 04.11.2017, Bern
Dauer: 20'
Sy. 4767

Hyperklavier 5
• [2017]
for piano solo, violin, viola and cello
solo-pf, vl, vla, vc
World Premiere: 15.12. 2017, Salzburg
Duration: 6'
Sy. 4772

Studien nach Bachs Kunst der Fuge • [2014]
for 2 pianos solo
World Premiere: 07.08.2015, Ansbach
Duration: 80'
Sy. 4438

zwei
• [2011]
for violin and piano
Vl. Pno.
Duration: 15’
Sy. 4188 // Score

Klaviertrio Nr. 2 • [2006/07]
Vl. Vc. Pno.
Material auf Anfrage
Duration: 18’
Sy. 3782 // Score / Vx.

Grand Duo • [2004]
for piano four handed
I. Éspace profond; II. Chant; III. Carillon; IV. Spirale
Pno 4hd.
World Premiere: 6.5.2007, Cologne
Duration: 20’
Sy. 3679 // *Score

Two Birds
• [2004]
for five instrumentalists
Fl. Cl. Vl. Vc. Pno.
World Premiere: 23.3.2006, Prague
Duration: 13’
Sy. 3617 // *Score / *Vx.

Frankenstein
• [2003/04]
for organ (two player)
I. Laboratorium 1 (Präludium); II. Erster Versuch; III. Zweiter Versuch; IV. Dritter Versuch; V. Vierter Versuch; VI. Laboratorium 2 (Postludium).
Org (2 Sp).
For Laboratorium 1 and 2 are two actors needed (maybe soloist and registrant). Frankenstein is performable for one actor without Laboratorium 1 and 2.
Duration: 30’
Sy. 3678 // *Score

Maelstrom • [2002]
for two pianos
2 Pno.
Duration: 18’
Sy. 3820 // Score

shongololo
• [2002]
for two concertinas and live-electronic ad libitum
2 Concertinas / Live-El (ad lib.).
Duration: 20’
Sy. 3619 // *Score / Live-El.

Drei Stücke • [2000]
for violoncello and piano
Vc. Pno.
Material on request
Duration: 16’
Sy. 3539 // Score

Fünf Stücke für Streichquartett
• [2000]  
2 Vl. Vla. Vc.
World Premiere: 3.12.2000, Cologne
Duration: 20’
Sy. 3513 // *Score / Vx.

Sieben Choralbearbeitungen nach Johann Sebastian Bach • [1999]
for piano four handed
1. Es ist gewisslich an der Zeit (BWV 734), Sy. 2751; 2. Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland (BWV 659), Sy. 2752; 3. Wo soll ich fliehen hin? Version a (BWV 694), Sy. 2753; 4. Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ (BWV 639), Sy. 2754; 5. Allein Gott in der Höh‘ sei Eng.Hnr (BWV 663), Sy. 2755; 6. Wo soll ich fliehen hin? Version b (BWV 694). Sy. 2756; Erbarme dich mein, o Herre Gott (BWV 721), Sy. 2757
Pno. 4hd.
The pieces are performable in any order and are even separately available.
World Premiere: 14.12.2000, Gießen
Duration: 33’
Sy. 2750 // *Score

Trio • [1989]
for piano, violin and violoncello
Vl. Vc. Pno.
World Premiere: 1989, Stuttgart
Duration: 15’
Sy. 3075 // *Score

Impromptus
• [1987]
for flute (piccolo) and clarinet (bass clarinet)
Fl (Picc). Cl (BCl).
World Premiere: 21.11.1987, Zurich
Duration: 25’
Sy. 3041 // *Score / *Vx.

Nocturne II (Ruinen)
• [1982]
for three percussionists
3 Perc.
World Premiere: 22.9.1983, London
Duration: 20’
Sy. 2394 // *Score

Streichquartett
• [1981/82]
2 Vl. Vla. Vc.
World Premiere: 3.6.1985, Duisburg
Duration: 27’
Sy. 2388 // *Score / *Vx.

Regionen • [1978/79]
for two pianos
2 Pno.
World Premiere: 1979, Mönchengladbach
Duration: 25’
MOD 2094 // Score

Dwandwa
• [1978]
for percussion and piano
Perc. Pno.
World Premiere: 1978, Stuttgart
Duration: 11’
MOD 2076 // Score

Kaleidoskop 1 und 2 • [1978]
for piano four handed
Pno (4 hd.).
World Premiere: 1978, Stuttgart
Duration: 99’
MMV 5211 // *Score

Sextett • [1977]
for vibraphone, flute, clarinet, viola, violoncello and piano
Vib (with extra instr). Fl. Cl. Vla. Vc. Pno.
World Premiere: 1978, Stuttgart
Duration: 16’
MMV 5232 // Score / Vx./ *Stud.-P.

Ataraxie • [1976]
for two flute player
2 Fl.
World Premiere: 1978, Stuttgart
Duration: 7’
MMV 5221 // *Score



VOCAL MUSIC

Messers Schneide • [2007]  
for two sopranos and chamber ensemble
Text: Vocalise
2 S.
2 Vl. Vla. Vc. Guit. 2 Perc.
World Premiere: 5.3.2008, Salzbourg
Duration: 10’
Sy. 3773 // *Score / Vx.

Die Masken des Pierrot • [2003]
for female voice and piano
Text: Reinhard Febel
Frst. Pno.
World Premiere: August 2004, San Lucar (E)
Duration: 12’
Sy. 3703 // *Score

Drei Madrigale • [2002]
for four solo voices and piano
Text: Reinhard Febel
S. A. T. B. / Pno.
World Premiere: 24.9.2002, Stuttgart
Duration: 20’

Der Gesang des Dodo • [2001]
for female voice and piano
Text: Vokalise
Frauenst. Pno.
World Premiere: 22.5.2005, Salzbourg
Duration: 10’
Sy. 3618 // *Score

Die vier Zeiten
• [1993]
for four soloists and mixed choir
Text: Philipp Otto Runge
S. A. T. B.
Choir SATB (mind. 8. 8. 8. 8.)
Performable in cycle with „five pieces for string quartet”
World Premiere: 26.3.1993, Stuttgart
Duration: 40’
Sy. 3171 // *Score

Winterreise • [1992]
Song cycle for alto voice
Text: Robert Walser
A.
World Premiere: 28.1.1993, Hannover
Duration: 18’
Sy. 3185 // *Score

Drei Lieder • [1982]
for mezzo-soprano, speaker, piano and tape
Text: „Kriegers Illusion” after Ingeborg Bachmann (Botschaft), J.A. Febel (Das Gewesene steht im seltsamen Licht), Wolf Biermann (Linkshänder)
Ms. Spr (female). Pno. tape (2 K).
World Premiere: 30.1.1983, Hannover
Duration: 20’
Sy. 2396 // Score / Carr.

Sy. 3593 // *Score

Kolomb
• [1982]
for mezzo-soprano and violoncello
Text: Friedrich Hölderlin (after fragments of  the Homburger Folio)
Ms. Vc.
World Premiere: 5.3.1983, Stuttgart
Duration: 20’
Sy. 2419 // *Score



SOLO WORKS


Te Diabolum • [2008]
for piano
Pno.
World Premiere: 3.-9.11.2008, Salzbourg
Duration: 7’
Sy. 3841 // *Score

Variations about a theme by  Paganini • [2002]
Studies for pianoforte
Pno.
World Premiere: 29.1.2005, Stuttgart
Duration: 25’
Sy. 3590 // *Score

Sieben Sonaten • [2000-2002]
for piano
1. scarlatti rey; 2. written in stone; 3. window; 4. written in sand; 5. bodhisattva; 6. transparent things; 7. tides
Pno.
World Premiere: 31.1.2005, Stuttgart
Duration: 37’
Sy. 3591 // *Score

Zen and the Art of Piano Playing • [2000-2001]
Eleven pieces for piano
I. ... leere Weite ... kein Verdienst ... ; II. ... Grashalme and Wind ... ; III. ... Don Quixote, Sancho Pansa and ich ... ; IV. ... Achilles and die Schildkröte ... ; V. ... jonglieren mit Tönen, Messern, brennenden Fackeln ... ; VI. ... in meinem Traum hatte ich sieben Freande ... ; VII. ... Gespensterhaus ... ; VIII. ... kleiner Vogel, kahle Zweige ... ; IX. ... Etörk Dlisch and Sellicha ... ; X. ... die Maschinen der Träumefabrik ... ; XI. ... der Clang der einen Hand …
Pno.
The pieces are performable in a cycle. Any choice and any order of the several pieces is possible.
World Premiere: 3.4.2006, Sevilla
Duration: 35’
Sy. 3379 // *Score

Capitaine Nemo
• [1999]
for percussion
Perc.
World Premiere: 12.11.99, Hannover
Duration: 15’
Sy. 3465 // *Score

Music for piano I • [1999]
Expanding Universe
Pno.
Duration: 8’
Sy. 3447 // *Score

Music for piano III • [1999]
Agitato barbaro
Pno.
Duration: 5’
Sy. 3448 // *Score

Music for piano II
• [1998]
Sur
Pno.
World Premiere: 1998, Salzbourg
Duration: 6’
Sy. 3442 // *Score

Percussion book I
• [1994]
for percussion
Perc.
World Premiere: 25.1.1995, Hannover
Duration: 7’
Sy. 3215 // *Score

Piano book III
• [1994]
for piano
Pno.
World Premiere: 15.11.1994, Hannover
Duration: 19’
Sy. 3239 // *Score

Piano book II
• [1993]
for piano
Pno.
World Premiere: 12.1.1994, Lingen
Duration: 20’
Sy. 3187 // *Score

Piano book I • [1991]
for piano
Pno.
World Premiere: 1993, Stuttgart
Duration: 20’
Sy. 3164 // *Score

Tango
• [1984]
for piano
Pno.
World Premiere: 26.5.1984, Munich
Duration: 5’
Sy. 2443 // *Score

Innere Stimmen
• [1982]
for piano
Pno.
World Premiere: 18.6.1982, Stuttgart
Duration: 30’
Sy. 2389 // *Score

Polyphonie
• [1981]
for violin
Vl.
World Premiere: 12.9.1982, Bozen
Duration: 7’
Sy. 2374 // *Score

Polyphonie
• [1981]
for viola
Vla.
World Premiere: 12.9.1983, Trient
Duration: 7’
Sy. 2420 // *Score

Delta
• [1978]
for bass flue and tape
BFl. Tape
World Premiere: Stuttgart
Duration: 15’
MMV 5220 // *Score / Carr.

Auf Reisen
• [1978]
Six pieces for children for piano
I. Auf Reisen; II. Im Uhrenladen; III. Spiegelbilder; IV. Wettlauf der Ameisen; V. Echo; VI. Akrobatentreffen
Pno.
Duration: 12’
MMV 5226 // *Score

Klavierstück 1978
• [1978]
Pno.
World Premiere: 1978, Stuttgart
Duration: 7’
MOD 2046 // Score

Vier Etüden
• [1977/78]
for piano
Pno.
World Premiere: 1978, Stuttgart
Duration: 14’
MMV 5231 // *Score

*3 July 1952 Metzingen

1979 begins studies of composition with Klaus Huber
1979 scholarship from the Heinrich-Strobel-Stiftung of the Südwestfunk
1980 Beethoven-Prize of the city of Bonn; composition prize at the composition
seminar Boswil (Switzerland)
1982 participant at the courses for computer music at the IRCAM in Paris
1983 commissioned work by the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich: the chamber opera "Euridice"; lectures, seminars, concerts in Argentinia, Uruguay, Chile and Peru arranged by the Goethe-Institut
1984 scholarship from the Villa Massimo in Rome; prizewinner of the Steinbrenner Stiftung in Berlin
1985 commissioned work by the youth orchestra of the european community; first performance of "Sinfonie" at the Donaueschinger Musiktage
1987 film music to the television film "Der Zauberbaum" (The Magic Tree) after the novel by Peter Sloterdijk
1988 first performance of the opera "Nacht mit Gästen" (Night with Guests) after Peter Weiss at the opera house in Kiel, prizewinner of the Stamitz-Award; record production of the Deutsche Musikrat; commissioned work by the Bundesjugendorchester to their twentieth anniversary
1989 professor for composition and music theory at the academy of music in Hannover; beginning of co-operation with the librettist and director Lukas Hemleb ("Sekunden und Jahre des Caspar Hauser" - Seconds and Years of Caspar Hauser, first performance 1992, Dortmund, and "Morels Erfindung" - Morel's Invention, first performance 1994, Dortmund)
1992 artist scholarship from Niedersachsen
1993 study visit in Cameroon and South Africa
1994 lectures in Wellingston and Auckland (New Zealand) and in Riga
1995 teaches composition in La Paz (Bolivia) and at the CEAMC, Buenos Aires
1997 workshops and lectures in Houston, Taipai and Kyoto
professor for composition at the Mozarteum, Salzburg
2000 guest lectures at the Hecettepe University, Ankara
since 2000 piano duo for four hands together with the pianist Isabel von Jakubowski
2001 guest lectures at the University Natal, Durban
2002 guest lectures at the Conservatory Skopje, Macedonia.
2003 World premiere of "Wolkenstein" at the Philharmonie Berlin. Guest lectures at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.
2005 guest lectures at University of Edinburgh, University Stellenbosch/South Africa and CEAMC Buenos Aires. Master Class in Composition at Salzburg Summer Academy.
2006 guest lectures at the Conservatories in Udine, Italy and Sevilla, Spain.
2007 world premiere of chamber opera “Gespensterhaus” at the Toihaus Theater in Salzburg
2008 master class at the Presjovem Summer Course in Cordoba, Spain; guest course at the conservatory of music in Sevilla, Spain
2009 composition course at the Ensembleakademie in Frankfurt; world premiere of the three chamber operas “Morde in Bildern” at the Kiel Opera House as well as “Giftiger Fisch,” the first collection of short stories 
2011 guest course at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts (Musikhochschule Frankfurt), master class at the Riga Conservatory, Latvia; as well as “Die alten Samurai,” novel.
2012 opera direction debut: “Morde in Bildern” at the Mainfranken Theater Würzburg; as well as “Der Klang des Verbotenen,” a novel on Domenico Scarlatti
2013 guest at the Kyoto City University of Arts
2014 research period for a new novel (“Krähenschrei” – released in 2018) at the Austrian embassy in Tokyo
2015 guest classes and guest lectures in Riga, Lettland; Kyoto, Japan; and Daegu, South Korea; “Schöpfung Plan B,” the second collection of short stories 
Since 2017 in progress: “Purpursegel,” opera based on the novel of the same name by Alexander Grin; “Slumberland,” a cycle for six pianists and ensemble; “Krähenschrei” (2018), novel about the Zen monk Ikkyu Sojun; master class at the Niccolò Picinni in Bari, Italy; composition course at the Conservatoria di Musica Sevilla, Spain; composition commission “dispassion” for the Ensemble Plural in Madrid, with world premiere in 2019 

 

 

Photo: Shahriyar Farshid

Reinhard Febel: A Portrait 

by Rainer Nonnenmann (2003)
Translation: Richard Toop  

Reinhard Febel moves between generations, cultures, styles and boundaries. Whereas the representatives of “New Simplicity” in the 1970s rejected organized conceptions of structure and material as having been done to death by serialism, Febel sought to unite historical-critical considerations of material, and constructivist structuring, with sonic and formal processes that could be experienced and understood directly. That applies to his early works like the Sextett (1977), as well as later ones like the Fünf Stücke (Five Pieces) for string quartet (2000). In contrast to his contemporaries, who sought to revitalise tonality as a closed system or neo-romantic style, taking their orientation from Schubert, Mahler or Berg, Febel made his own discovery of Helmut Lachenmann’s dialectical structural thinking, and accordingly was concerned to deliberately create frictions between new sound structures and existing traditions, styles and forms. Moreover, he always regarded tonality just as neutral material, which should be available to be used equitably alongside other techniques from the repository of relatively ancient or recent music history.  

Instead of the rigorous atonality of serialism, or regressive composing ‘within’ tonality, what he propagated was a post-modern approach to composing ‘with’ tonality, which moved beyond the avant-garde ideology of progress without lapsing back into traditional musical languages. Instead of the post-war avant-garde’s exclusivist concept of material, he put the case in many essays for inclusive composing. The supposedly objectively necessary tendency of material at the start of the 20th century to change irreversibly from tonality to atonality is something he rejected as arbitrary, along with its socio-philosophical legitimation; instead, he advocated a universal opening-up of narrow avant-garde concepts of history and material.  

This pluralistic way of thinking was expounded in many of his pieces. For example, the musical process of Charivari (1979) was shaped as a temporal projection of actual music history, from Dufay’s vocal polyphony via baroque fugal technique, classical quartet writing, late romantic opulence and Anton Webern’s pointillist style, to the textural composition of Luciano Berio and György Ligeti. His chamber opera Euridice (1982/83) was related, with varying degrees of proximity and distance, to the eponymous key work in operatic history by Jacopo Peri, dating from 1600. In the Variationen für Orchester (Variations for Orchestra) (1980) he unfolded a tonal song as his model, and the Konzert für Schlagzeug (Concerto for Percussion) (1981), using exaggerated accelerations, he pushed sequences of falling fifths so far that the thoroughly tonal material gave rise to atonal structures. In the Étude d‘exécution transcendante for fourteen instruments (1979), his subject matter – the emergence and disappearance of tonality and atonality – is expounded through an arch-formed sonic process that circles around an extended B major chord; in Innere Stimmen (Inner Voices) (1982) he quotes Robert Schumann’s Humoreske Op. 20, and in the third of the Drei Lieder (Three Songs) for female singer, female speaker, piano and tape (1982), using a montage of short excerpts from various works by J.S. Bach, W. A. Mozart and Johannes Brahms, he created a sequence of falling fifths starting from B minor, which descends treatment of the fingering hand and the bow hand leads to extended passages of rhythmic-melodic patterns. In the Sinfonie (1985/86), a shimmering, pointillist sound continuum arises from the fragmentary splitting-up of tonal chords throughout the whole orchestra.  

However, in contrast to minimalism, Febel is always aiming at a wealth of spontaneous inspiration, emotionality, and the depiction of extra-musical, sometimes epic-dramatic content. It is for this reason that he sought new ways of dealing with language and text. In Das Unendliche (1984) he handled two vocal parts quasi-instrumentally, whereas the orchestra was treated in a manner analogous to speech, with types of articulation corresponding to consonants and vowels. He did similar things in Joker for soprano and five instruments (1986) and Auf der Galerie for eleven strings (1985), where the formal, syntactical and semantic structures of the eponymous text by Kafka are transposed into a quasi-narrative sonic process, “like a film soundtrack”. Instead of making speech musical, music is to be turned into speech. Further instrumental and vocal works show Febel’s pronounced musico-dramatic interests; the programmatic scope of his pieces is sometimes supplemented by instructions concerning the handling of space, movement and lighting, as in Winterreise (1992), Die vier Zeiten (1993), Capitaine Nemo (1999) and Wolkenstein (2002).  

Early on in his career, Febel was already looking at musico-dramatic conceptions. To date he has completed seven operas. Whereas his first stage works Euridice (1983), David und Gollert (1987) and Nacht mit Gästen (1987/88) were still largely orientated towards an epic-dramatic operatic aesthetic, in Sekunden und Jahre des Caspar Hauser (1991/92) and Morels Erfindung (1993/94) he works with various levels of reality, time and sound, and in Beauty (1995/96) with procedures involving epic alienation and distancing. For the ‘science fiction opera’ Lichtung (2000), inspired by the static cinematic language of Andrei Tarkovsky, he developed an unconventional dramaturgy involving unreally separated levels of music, song, text and plot. He is currently working on the ‘children’s opera’ Herr Daunander und Glotze (2002/03) and the ‘boxing opera’ Die sieben Feen (2003/04), which inhabit the boundaries between play, opera and musical.  

At the beginning of the 1990s Febel became familiar with non-European music, and thought a lot about its rhythmic structures and their physical effect. His musical experiences during travels through Africa and South America were directly reflected in compositions like the finale of the Vier Stücke (Four Pieces) for violin and orchestra, as well as some pieces from Piano Books I-III (1986-94) and the Percussion Book (1994/95). By analogy to his composing “with” tonality, he now composed not “in” but “with” rhythm, metre, tempo and pitch. Instead of fixing the individual parameters for a whole composition, in the Sonatas 1-7 for piano (2000-02) and Maelstrom for two pianos (2002), he subordinated them to dynamic processes. Continual processes affecting glissandi, time and tempo mean that even static structures and repetitive patterns – such as the model for the Fantasie über ein Thema von Franz Schubert (Fantasia on a theme by Franz Schubert) for orchestra (1997) – are constantly in motion, constantly changing. Whereas, in the first of the two pieces Sculpture / Motion Picture for nineteen strings (1998), isolated notes – analogous to observing a sculpture from all sides – are accelerated and projected onto the temporal process, in the second piece, increasingly accelerated movements fuse together into a generally polyphonic texture. This approach is further developed by Febel in Sphinxes for orchestra (2003). 
 
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