Postkarten-Galerie - (1996)    

Thirty-nine etudes for piano

for Brigitte Fassbaender


1.             Präludium 

2.             Adam und Eva

3.             Devotion

4.             Cherchez la femme

5.             Behütet

6.             Arbeitslose am Strand

7.             Maulaffen

8.             Des Menschen beste Freund

9.             Wimbeldon 85.. 

10.          Memory 

11.          Strasse im Regen

12.          Dorfanger

13.          Zwei Einwohner der Salisbury Cathedral 

14.          Regenwolken

15.          Teufel Eins

16.          Teufel Zwei

17.          Das Holzbein

18.          Bunkerwine

19.          Alter Indianer vor den Fordwerken-USA

20.          Berggeist 

21.          Berggasse 19/Wien IX

22.          Hoffnungsloser Fall

23.          Die Füttering

24.          Grosses trauriges Tier

25.          Allegorie vor geblümter Tapete

26.          Das Schosstier der Familie 

27.          Mr. Birdseye, der Erfinder der Fischtäbchen

28.          Der unfolgsame Igel  

29.          Haarscharf

30.          Spätes Mädchen

31.          Badefreuden

32.          Bettscene

33.          Bayerischer Schüler

34.          Ludwig II

35.          Das Auge des Gesetzes

36.          So nicht meine Herren! 

37.          Heimatlos

38.          Emigrant 

39.          Die Stadien der Trauer

[ 49 pages, circa 42' 40" ]


Brigitte Fassbaender


Born in Berlin, Germany, in 1939 - Brigitte Fassbaender, is the daughter of screen actress Sabine Peters and baritone, Willi Domgraf-Fassbaender. Her first love was not music, but theatre.  Her father, head of the opera department at the Nuremberg Conservatory, took his daughter as a pupil, and she studied at the conservatory as a mezzo-soprano from 1959 to 1961, becoming a member of the Bayerischen Staatsoper in 1961. In 1971 she was named Kammersängerin. Working internationally as well, she was guest with the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, London, La Scala, and a regular in the Salzburger Festspiel and Bayreuther Festspiel seasons, well renown for her roles including Oktavian in Der Rosenkavalier, Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde, and Carmen of Georges Bizet, Clairon in Capriccio, the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos, Fricka in Die Walküre,  Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus, Amneris in Aïda, Maddalena in Rigoletto, Eboli in Don Carlos, and Klytemnestra in Strauss’ Elektra.

In 1987 Fassbaender won a Gramophone Award for her Deutsche Gramophon disc of songs by Franz Liszt and Richard Strauss, and has also recorded Schubert’s Winterreise,  Brahms’ Die Schöne Magelone and Carl Loewe’s little-known Fraünliebe. Today, she teaches ocal music at the Musikhochschule in Munich and is a fellow of Manchester’s Royal College of Music. She is also a passionate sketcher and painter, and after directing in Coburg, she served as Opera Direktor (1995–1997) for Theater Braunschweig. Since 1999 until recently she had been the Intendant of the Tiroler Landestheater.


This Postkarten-Galerie is an interpretation of a book of postcard-sized sketches, published together, which she gave to me during our work together in Braunschweig, each title reflecting something of the visual art, for which I imagined a musical version thereof.



The etudes range from thirty seconds in length to the final summation, which includes a reprise of the prelude, of 5' 25". The prelude begins essentially a static invention for two-voices, blurred by the sostenuto pedal.



Another etude is a set of broken octaves.



Among the many textures -- a valse triste and other triple meters, as well as jazz-oriented "licks" -- one is a blurred set of arpeggios and parallel chords.



As Brigitte was well known as a Wagnerian singer, there are some quotes from Wagner as well as hidden references to other operas for which her work was world renown. Below is a short parody of the long E-flat chord which opens Das Rheingold, reflecting her postcard titled Badefreuden.



51 pages, circa 44' 00" - an MP3 demo is here: 


The score for Postkarten-Galerie 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-vocal score.