Philipp Maintz’s orchestral piece “hängende gärten” in Berlin
“It is precisely this image which for me best fits with the idea of this orchestral piece”, says the composer: “a park in which you can plant, garden, tend and see plants growing
(yes, actually write ‘music from music’) – yet also a ‘garden of longing’ in which things should flower beautifully, but also run wild.”
“... a park in which you can plant, garden, tend and see plants growing (yes, actually write ‘music from music’), yet also a ‘garden of longing’ in which things should flower beautifully, but also run wild ...”
hängende gärten is the evocative title of your new orchestral piece. How should this be interpreted?
Tradition has it that the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II had the Hanging Gardens of Babylon built for his wife Semiramis, who is said to have longed for the forests and mountains of her native country after the lowlands of Babylon.
It is precisely this image which for me best fits with the idea of this orchestral piece: a park in which you can plant, garden, tend and see plants growing (yes, actually write ‘music from music’), yet also a ‘garden of longing’ in which things should flower beautifully, but also run wild. And Christoph Eschenbach is a master of orchestral balance and colour. I was delighted to experience this when he conducted my tríptico vertical. I have continued the principle here of structuring components of form in different tempi proportional to each other. And I have further developed this proportionality by allowing these components to grow more and more into each other: real creepers form ...
After instrumental concerti and works for voice and orchestra, you are now writing once again purely for orchestra – how do your experiences from your last pieces flow into this?
Above all I realized with astonishment that first of all, I had to orientate myself anew: in a piece with a soloist there is a clear “focal point” around which the orchestra should be balanced. This is missing here. On the other hand these “concertos” have also made me much more sensitive to sonorities, so that I can now play freely with orchestral colours, without having to worry that they are stealing the show from the soloist or sink against him or her. One result of this experience is particularly a rhythmically striking approach to the material, without forming great “expanses of colour”.
You have composed a new string quartet – here, too, this is a “pure” form:
what can audiences and players expect, how do you treat the four parts?
Yes, a string quartet: four instruments, four personalities, four moods and temperaments (musically four materials and tempi), four directions it can go in – sometimes together, sometimes one hangs back or dashes forwards, discourse always remains even if one leads the way and rolls up again from behind ...
I would like the composition to be understood organically, and ultimately, that the four players form one great singing instrument at the end ...