Three of Michael Amann’s extensive oeuvre compositions are now available in the music austria sheet music shop. Accuracy and expression are the dominating and competing work elements of the composer, who was born and raised in Vorarlberg and now lives in Vienna. Literature and sensual perceptions serve as a template for his composed intuition, though Michael Amann always for his work to be performable. To give performers enough room for individual moods and feelings, Amann focuses on simple solutions for his precise musical visions and avoids frightening scores.
Despite the joy for experimentation and alterations, there is a constant in the life of the literature connoisseur: Homer’s “Ulysses”. In the 90s this fictitious journey already served as an inspiration for pieces like “Penelope”, “Kirke” or “Oxen of the Sun”. Even in 2010 Amann quoted a part of the epos in his composition. In “Eos” for low voice, bass clarinet and harp, the goddess of dawn is set to music. In a four-minute upward movement the bass voice sings brighter and clearer. The individual words are thereby distorted beyond recognition and vary back and forth between rich vocal harmonies and noisy consonants. In a few places the text becomes clearer, with sounding words like “Tithonus” or “Mensch”. The accompanying voices offer a mystical character through their nebulous harmonies of music. With the symbolic rising of the sun, however, the gloomy chords gradually disappear and scatter into semiquaver figures.
The “Scherzo” was written for a number of commissioned works in the “nom de Haydn”. Due to Haydn’s string quartets opus 33, the “Scherzo” was mostly established as the third movement in a sonata or symphony. Extreme positions, fast runs and avoidance of chords characterize the three-movement piano work of Amann. These hectic, selective sounds are interrupted by many double bar lines, which can “be thought of as pauses”.
The composition for double bass solo is characterized by diverse playing techniques and the application of Amann’s precise sonic vision. On the other hand, the pitches and meters can be partially self-determined by the performers and provide opportunities for free interpretation. “Con anima, senza rigore” is not only the title of the work, but also describes the development of the composer. While once focused on the spiritual penetration of the material as a young student, in 2011 the emotions are increasingly set to the fore.
(translated from German)
Photo Michael Amann: Rudolf Rösch © Courtesy of Doblinger Musikverlag