Hymnulus scissus (Eisleriana)


Flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano

UA: 14/10/1998, Gewandhaus Leipzig, (Ensemble Avantgarde, Steffen Schleiermacher) CD : BVHAAST 0400 Performer(s) : Ensemble Phorminx

HYMNULUS SCISSUS (1998): When in 1998 the city of Leipzig celebrated Hanns Eisler’s 100th birthday, Willem Breuker and Konrad Boehmer were among the 14 composers chosen worldwide to contribute to the collective work “14 ways to describe Eisler”, which was premiered on November 14, 1998 by the Ensemble Avantgarde (cond.: Steffen SCHLEIERMACHER) in the Leipzig “Gewandhaus”.

Boehmer’s HYMNULUS SCISSUS (‘Little Torn Hymn’ or ‘Kleine Spalterhymne ‘; the title refers to the disgusting qualification of the hymn of the GDR, composed by Eisler, by West-German politicians from the Adenauer-age) is based on the third variation of Eislers 14 Arten den Regen zu beschreiben’ (14 ways to describe the Rain), the ‘Choral Etude’.

The melody of the GDR’s national anthem, introduced at the beginning, turns into that of the song ‘Erst wenn ich müde bin, werde ich sie Dir geben’ (Only if I tire will I pass it [the red flag] to you’) from Eisler/Brecht’s play “The Mother’. The instrumentation of HYMNULUS SCISSUS is the same as in Eislers rain-variations.