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Music Text

Conception & text adaptation: Stefanie Wördemann (G)


bfl.bcl(=dbcl)-tpt(=Flugel hn)-perc(1):marimba/vib/glass harp/rattle/rainmaker/BD/SD/3cym/clash.cym/Chin.cym/ant.cym/gong/Chin.opera gong/Jap.howl gong/cowbell/tam-t/anvil/2tom-t/4bongos/steel bl/metal plate/paper bag/friction dr-prep pft(=sampler)-vla(=vln).vlc.db;
live electronics

Abbreviations (PDF)



This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.


World Premiere
GARE DU NORD Bahnhof für Neue Musik, Basel
Marcus Bothe, director
Conductor: Jürg Henneberger
Company: Silvester von Hösslin / ChrisTine Urspruch / Georg Martin Bode / Ensemble Phoenix


JAKOB VON GUNTEN actor / speaker with yodelling talent
Miss LISA actress / speaker with dance talent
Mr. BENJAMENTA actor / speaker
Jakob's brother JOHANN piano (also sampler keyboard) / speaker
Jakob's college brothers:
KRAUS double bass / speaker
HEINRICH bass flute / speaker
SCHACHT viola/violin / speaker
SCHILINSKI trumpet (also Flugel horn) / speaker
HANS percussion / speaker
PETER bass clarinet (also double bass clarinet) / speaker (female)
FUCHS cello / speaker

The work is exclusively based on text excerpts from the novel. The eleven short scenes, interrupted by three ‘Dream Audio Plays’, follow this basic framework: Jakob von Gunten, the son of ‘good family’, is admitted to the Benjamenta Institute, an educational home for servants where the pupils learn ‘little, but thoroughly’. Jakob describes his comrades, their views and plans for the future. Within the strange atmosphere of the house, murky and barely articulated desires and moods unfold. While Jakob is drawn towards his fellow pupil, Kraus, he dreams of Miss Lisa, the director’s sister, with whom he has secret conversations. Benjamenta himself is impressed with Jakob. Finally, things take a turn for the worse in the home: Lisa dies and Benjamenta dismisses all of the pupils except for Jakob, who he asks to join him on his journey into the world. After pondering the idea for a while, he agrees.





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