Originalmelodie reflects upon lyricism in music, and upon the boundary between independent melodic line/contrapuntal ‘voice’ and figuration/accompaniment. It is also a tapestry of reminiscences, visiting Gustav Mahler, Charles Ives, Kaikhosru Sorabji, Ferruccio Busoni, traditional Taiwanese song, Jean Barraqué, Brian Ferneyhough and Felix Mendelssohn; only the last of these is quoted directly, whose Songs without Words were first published in London as Original Melodies for the Pianoforte. Contemplation from the second book provides the fundamental motifs for my own Originalmelodie. The piece broadly alternates between passages with and without the sustain pedal, those ‘dry’ passages (without pedal) tending towards the ‘contrapuntal’, and the ‘wetter’ (with pedal) tending towards figuration.
I originally wrote this piece for David Owen Norris to play in Taiwan, but he subsequently rejected it. This was the world premiere of the piece, given by Rolf Hind as part of the New Works Festival at Southampton University in 2010:
I performed this piece myself, at the “Composers at the Piano” concert in Southampton in 2012: