Partita by Heinz Holliger (1939-2002). For piano. This edition: ED 9459. Piano Music. Grade 6. Composed 1999. Duration 35 minutes. Published by Schott Music (SD.49008422).
Heinz Holliger has dealt intensively with Friedrich Holderlin and Robert Schumann. The third movement of his Partita, a Barcarole, is preceded by the motto: 'We should let ourselves be cradled | As if on a boat rocking on the sea.' These lines have been taken from the poem 'Mnemosyne' (Memory) by Holderlin. The piece starts in the rhythm of old gondola songs. But sometimes it loses its typical steady ﬂow of music, lapsing into speechtones and rhythms. The fourth and sixth movements are headed 'Sphynxen fur Sch.', reminiscent of the term 'Sphinxes' used by Schumann in Carnaval to turn his name into tones. The second movement 'Fuga' refers back to Schumann's fugues for pedal piano. The code BACH, a transposition from Schumann's Op. 60, appears right in the middle.Holliger's Partita clearly shows how he refers to a historical background which he has arranged and structured in many layers.Composed in anticipation of the Bach anniversary in 2000. The forms and religious symbolism in Holliger's piece are not restricted in their reference to the Cantor of St Thomas' Leipzig, but include the interwoven contradictory attitudes towards Bach of Schumann and Liszt. A technically and musically demanding concert piece.