wörtlich - 

      wortwörtlich (literally)




    speaker (actor)



    new music specialist singer


12 choir parts

4 flutes

2 clarinets

2 bass clarinets




 music theatre for orchestra, soloists, choir and electroacoustics

2 trumpets

2 horns

2 trombones


2 harps


2 percussionists

Keyboard player

Loudspeakers and 


Extract :

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wörtlich-wortwörtlich is a music theatre that focuses on the medial peculiarity of this genre, less on the narrative itself. The myth appears at times as a strongly moving and then again as a more linguistic phenomenon, the spoken text embedded in the music as sound - a speaking orchestra. The text is declaimed, the only way to make the structural and linguistic analysis worthwhile for translation into music. The language pathos in its beauty of recitation is enjoyed, but also ironicized.

When - where / time - location as counterparts are design backgrounds. The temporally oriented text of succession, of striving towards an end, is then spatialized when it is repeated, indeed when individual words are recited. Even if they rotate in the play, becoming a musical space, a spatial state, away from development - they become a kind of natural state.

Affection (continuation of the myth of Orpheus) and detachment (rotating structures without the urge for a subsequent event) alternate. Apparent emotional directionality leads into disturbances of touch and further into pure sound phenomena, a detachment from the myth - tension and relaxation.

Text parts repeat themselves in different perceptibility through various disturbances.

Orpheus as mythical singer (vocal sound) and player (string sound of the lyre) is the starting point of these two central sound modes. He is not really present as a person, the narration is spoken. The language of the narrator-actor becomes music through his speech sound.

The sound of a plucked string is a sound of ebbing, like a reverberation, uninfluenceable once it has been stimulated. 

Particles from Monteverdi's Orpheo and Gluck's Orpheus are interspersed. The composition develops in spurts towards an inevitable end in a long echoing out. In the last part, text loses its necessity - it disappears.

Often sung in vocalises, vowels and consonants are incorporated as the sound of the music.

In the course of the piece, the sung lutes are expanded beyond the singing style of the two traditional soloists into archaic lutes by a specialist in contemporary singing.

The space is shaded in many ways by additional all-round sound with electro-acoustic feeds. The assignment of sound to place (source to spatial position) is deliberately unsettled in many ways.

The poles inside-outside in spatial and emotional aspects represent the immediate situation in the theatre: from the outside (environment, nature) deepening through the building, the hall, the stage, the performers to the inside (nature) of the voice and the sound to the eye and ear of the recipient. 

The elements (text, voice, sound of the strings and the space) are shifted from the self-evident functions so familiar in music theatre to their origins.

The beginning remains veiled for a long time, the end ebbing away in long-lasting orchestral reverberation.

The theatricality arises less from the concrete progress of the story than from the way it is presented, thematising music theatre as a media event.

This is not experimental music theatre that has strayed into an opera house. It was deliberately written for one.

ein Orpheus - Nachhall

          (an Orpheus reverberation)