[11 February 2009]
This piece, conceived as a parody of Arnold Shonberg’s famous “Dreimal sieben Gedichte aus Albert Girauds ‘Pierrot lunaire’”, was written by Berlin composer Reinhold Friedl in 2005, and is lent heft and a perhaps disproportionate seriousness in a recording by Markus Weiser and the Zeitkratzer ensemble. The 21 poems of Schoneberg’s piece are condensed here into barely fifteen minutes; the “soprano” now remade in Weiser’s expressive (and at times effete) voice. Friedl’s piece is Shonberg-esque, though it’s much simpler, and one suspects the style’s a little affected for the sake of the parody. Friedl’s tricks seem drawn straight from his undergraduate students’ handbook—a favourite is the random deployment of atonalities in a flute or oboe, interjecting themselves out of the texture of the piece. Some of these brief, interlude-like compositions have a certain tongue-in-cheek brio. But as a high-art joke, I have to say, this one’s over my head.