Hut-Musik - (2015)
Thomas Küchler gewidmet
Subtitled "Präludium und Fuge für Klavier und Bronzebüste," this "hat music" is a parody of sorts on a well-known tune, which until yesterday (the 27th of February) was not known to me as being adapted to a children's song. In the office of the Staatskapelle Berlin, orchestra manager Thomas Küchler in a moment of levity amusingly sang a snippet, as I'd commented on a bronze bust (an award) on which he told me he sometimes put his hat. Asking that he repeat the tune, he and his associate sang snippets of it amid pleasant laughter and stacks of orchestra scores and instrumental parts. This was a moment to remember in music, I thought then and there.
The little folk tune's lyric is "Mein Hut, der hat drei Ecken, / drei Ecken hat mein Hut. / Und hätt er nicht drei Ecken, / so wär’s auch nicht mein Hut." My hat, it has three corners; three corners has my hat. And if it has not three corners, it isn't then my hat." The tune has its own history, beginning as a Neopolitan canzonetta, and finding its legs through Paganini's virtuosic variations to various folk lyrics and chilrden's games. This little musical parody quotes a number of composers' themes in the context of variations and a fugue based on the tune. It is just for the fun of it, as citations from Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, Puccini, and Mahler, mid bits of "wrong-note music" as Karl Eschman used to say, and polytonal colors.
4 pages, circa 4' 10" - an MP3 demo is here:
The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano score.