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Jürg Frey 
24 wörter

order reference:   
EWR 1407
Jürg Frey
Regula Konrad (voice), Andrew Nathaniel McIntosh (violin),
Dante Boon (piano)

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24 Wörter
Text: Jürg Frey

1    Fremdheit  (Strangeness)   
2    Herzeleid (Heartbreak)        
3    zwei Welten (Two Worlds)        
4    Seelenweit (Soul-breadth)        
5    (Piano, Violin)                
6    Heiterkeit  (Cheerfulness)        
7    Seltsamkeit  (Oddness)        
8    Trauer (Grief)               
9    Tänzer (Dancer)            
10   Träumer (Dreamer)            
11   Stein (Stone)                
12   Einsamkeitsmangel (Lack of Loneliness)           
13   Zittergras  (Quivering Grass)   
14   (Piano solo)                
15   Tod (Death)                
16   Schlaf (Sleep)                
17   Tod (Death)               
18   Verlorenheit (Lostness)        
19   Zartheit  (Tenderness)        
20   Glück (Happiness)            
21   Wind (Wind)               
22   Glück (Happiness)            
23   Ortlosigkeit (Without Place)    
24   Innigkeit  (Closeness)        
25   Sehnsuchtslandschaft (Landscape of Longing)        
26   Halbschlafphantasie (Half-Sleep Fantasy)            
27   Vergessenheitsvogel (Bird of Oblivion)              

Landscape with words

JF: The 24 words are the titles of the individual pieces, and they are at the same time the entire text. They are also a list that shows how the piece gets from a beginning to an end. It is, in a sense, a cycle not simply a collection of pieces - a cycle which begins, makes a journey and ends at a different place.

TA: If I had to categorize this list of words, it seems to me they are addressed to quite different areas. Herzeleid (Heartbreak) for example, sounds old-fashioned, Einsamkeitsmangel (Lack of Loneliness) almost sounds like a neologism, as do Halbschlafphantasie, (Half-Sleep Fantasy) Sehnsuchtslandschaft (Landscape of Longing), Vergessenheitsvogel (Bird of Oblivion). Others, such as Tod (Death), Schlaf (Sleep),  Glück (Happiness), Wind (Wind), are very often used in everyday life. Did you, as you compiled this list, consider these categories? Or did you tell yourself a story that made these words necessary?

JF: I was thinking in categories. At first I really wanted to make an even more rigid sequence. As it now stands, with the long words at the end and the short words in the middle, you can still feel a little of this structure; also at the beginning, which has many words with "e" and "ei".  However, now it is not so strict. The words developed lives of their own, and this displaced some of the original structure. Some are everyday words, others are made by combining words, and some words found individual paths into the piece, including some very personal things. L'oiseau d'oubli ("Vergessenheitsvogel",Bird of Oblivion) comes from Edmond Jabès and is a tribute to this author I adore. But I also think that here Jabès has given me the perfect word.

TA: This piece consists of 27 parts, two of them being instrumental. The 24 words were set to music in pieces that are between 30 seconds and four minutes, and the words appear at most twice each in each piece. Again a fairly rigid structure?