After Auschwitz, so the most much-quoted sentence of Adorno, it is no longer possible to write poems. "Since Auschwitz" - in such a way the poet, essayist, literature scientist and translator Richard Exner called a poem cycle, which is engaged exactly in this lyric problem. It is poems which are about the horror without pretending to be able to avert it or to bring it in words. Auschwitz doesn't appear in them. But in each line Auschwitz is in the background. Exner, born in the year 1929, never really attained as a poet in Germany to fame. At the end of the fifties he emigrated to America, studied literature there and held different professorships at important universities. After his retirement he returned to Germany 1992. In 1985 and 1992 two volumes with his lyric poetry have been published in Germany.
Nearly two generations younger than Exner the composer Alois Bröder is. On the search for a text for a choir composition Bröder discovered Exners cycle "Since Auschwitz". These poems, he writes, corresponded to his idea, how one could approximate linguistically this topic: "scarcely, unpretentiously, complainless, painful - private merged with social one". Some years later Bröder has taken fiven poems from other volumes for his orchestra songs Left Silence. The notes stick thereby not to a synchronous and exactly detailed interpretation of individual text nuances, but are interested in the fundamental aura of a poem - these try to give it an image. The function of the voice Bröder determines particularly as an information carrier, loosened from it, in the orchestra the emotional interpretation of the textual atmosphere takes place. Thus an orchestra, which “colors, soaks the language, corrected, lightened it, changes it's mind, attacked or calms it. Text and music try to explain each other." From the antagonism of these two elements on a new level thus a third arises. Bröder calls it "the depth of focus of the thought." To the words "gelassenes Schweigen" in the third poem in Exners English version corresponds the expression "left silence". Thus not a "calmness", but a leaving, a remaining seems here meant.
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Bröder selected five poems and arranged it to the picture of a life cycle:
1.) “hesitant and very fragile”, so the expression mark for the mezzo, starts the Portrait of a Child. Life still before the condition of its unfolding a melodic motif, which oscillates in a close range, determines voice such as orchestra. Driven from a longing to luck and transcendence a gradual acceleration and detachment from the self referringness of the close range take place.
2.) Morning Song could be called probably also "youth". Unleashed life. While the vocal part freed itself to call-like thirds, the orchestra produces an over-foaming mosaic of most different musical components.
3.) The realization of Liberty forms with the third song the center of the five-part cycle and thus the interface between birth and going out. The moment of the will-decision as the timeless instant of remaining between past and coming. Thus this song shows up ambiguously and in the shape of a mirror. It knows both the vocal going out ("wordless") as well as a nearly Beethoven liberty enthusiasm. The pathos of the gong motif with which the voice threatens to deny initially, is enthusiastically taken by it itself at the end.
4.) The wide sound space, which "Liberty" opened, is taken back gradually in the following pieces. The cycle as a whole is retrograde. Mute tells us from the consciousness of aging. Solidification between two tones: an enormous coldly rattling trill connects orchestra and mezzo on the climax, when the text speaks about "that dreadful rustling of thew seedless pots on the terrace."
5.) About death but also transcendence treats the piece Eternity. Statics like in the previous piece at first also here. If the stired trill figure still told of frightening, then - after a yelling death cry - now however peace comes up: long held wind sounds in the pianissimo, because "some day your breath will turn to wind again". It starts a free melodic flooding in the violins which leads up to the expiration of the piece.
(Roland Quitt, programme to the first performance, Bielefeld 2001)
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