Contemporary Lute Music

You are interested in contemporary music for lute, theorbo or baroque guitar?

A number of my solo or chamber pieces are written for lute, theorbo and baroque guitar. Addressed are lutenists who are prepared to get involved in new sound experiences and playing challenges. In some pieces, I use unusual playing techniques which means special requirements for the player. There are more deviations from the norm, for instance stopping of bass courses, use of a slide or affixing of an additional fret. It would be welcome to start a dialogue with players about this “testing ground”! Unless otherwise noted, equal tempered scale is recommended.


BLIND TOUCH

for Lute and Viol (2016) | circa 8 min.

Blind Touch - cov-largeIn this piece, rhythmics and tempo structures are a particular challenge for the players. To interpret the piece properly, the players have to find closest proximity despite the tonal diversity of the instruments.
Lute with 6 or 7 courses, Viol
Notation: french tablature (lute) and standard notation (Viol)
Tuning: equal tempered recommended
Annotations: German/English
Performance duration: c. 8 min.
Special playing techniques: Some percussive effects such as hammer-on of the fretting hand also for the Viol, tambora and standard harmonics. Exactly defined tempo changes.
Premiere: Munich 04-30-2017 within the concert series “Sonorizzonte” at Alte Hofkapelle der Münchner Residenz by Michael Freimuth, Lute and Arno Jochem, Viol

Audio

Audio samples in preparation

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CODEX BREVIS – Scherzo ex anima IV

for Violin, Descant Recorder, Bass Viol, Lute (2014) | circa 6’30 min.

codexbrevis-cov-large“Dedicated to Hans-Georg Büchel”

Violin, Descant Recorder, Bass Viol, Lute with 6 or 7 courses
Violin part can be played on baroque violin
Notation for Lute: french tablature or standard staff notation
Tuning: equal tempered recommended
Annotations: German/English
Performance duration: c. 6’30 min.
Premiere: Bonn 10-04-2014 by the ensemble “Quadro con Liuto”, Bonn

Audio

Please note that the playback of timbre, articulations like harmonic, slaps etc. do not correspond to real instrumental sounds!

Codex Brevis – digital audio (virtual instruments)

Bar 1-47 (01:24)
Bar 97-134 (00:49)
Bar 210-Fine (00:41)

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FANTASIE IN NOMINE II

for Lute 10 courses (2000) | circa 10 min.

Fantasie in nomine II - cov-largePrelude – Calmo, meditativo – Vivo – Moderato con spirito – Tempo giusto – Cadenza – Moderato –
Tempo giusto – Meditation melancholico – Adagio, calmo
Lute in G 10 courses
Notation: french tablature and graphics
Tuning: equal tempered recommended
Annotations: German/English
Performance duration: c. 10 min.
Tuning: standard
Special playing techniques: Down- and upstrokes with plucking hand
Premiere: Swiss 2009 at Gommer Abendmusiken by the composer

Choral section in Taverner’s music

Basis of FANTASIE IN NOMINE II for Lute/Archlute solo is a gregorian melody, which is first used by John Taverner in the 1st half of the 16th century for his mass “GLORIA TIBI TRINITAS”.
Since the renaissance there are numerous works based on this cantus firmus melody, especially by English composers. The title “In nomine” refers to the text of Taverner’s “Benedictus”: Benedictus qui venit in nomine domini…

Preface and Prelude

Fantasie in nomine II - Preface + Prelude

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Audio

Audio samples in preparation

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FOUR STUDIES ‘pi’

for Lute 6 courses (2000) | circa 5 min.

Four Studies pi - cover-largeFour studies for thumb-index technique of the plucking hand in moderately tonal style:
1. Presto possibile, costante
2. Con aumenti e contrasti
3. Moderato, leggiero
4. Andante moderato e vivo
Lute in G 6 courses
Notation: french tablature and music notation
Tuning: equal tempered recommended
Annotations: German/English
Performance duration: c. 5 min.
Tuning: standard

Audio

Audio samples in preparation

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GEISTER / GHOSTS

for Theorbo 14 courses (2017) | circa 18 min.

Geister/Ghost (Theorbe 2017)From the tonal intermediate world, always on the threshold of the non-tangible.
In addition to the special tuning of the bass courses, many different percussive articulations and playing technique are used as well as playing with slide. 7 sets, circa 18 minutes.
Notation: french tablature, graphic notation
Tuning: equal tempered recommended
Annotations: German/English
Performance duration: c. 18 min.
Special playing techniques: Affixing of imaginary markings on the soundboard in order to play with a slide up to the 24th fret, hammer-on and hammer-on-harmonics als with the plucking hand, étouffé, tambora, special techniques for arpeggio, legato and plucking. Percussive effects on the soundboard.

Tuning and Preface for this piece

Geister/Ghosts (Theorbe 2017) - Tuning+Preface

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Audio

Audio samples in preparation

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KOKORO

für Theorbe 14 courses (2009) | 11’30 min.

“People in Tokyo – activity and contemplation among the hustle and bustle of the city”

kokoro-cov-large-img1To play also on a large instrument
Optional use of a 13th fret
Notation: french tablature
Tuning: equal tempered recommended
Annotations: German/English
Performance duration: 11’30 min.
Special playing techniques: Extended use of lower bass courses. Orientation and accuracy of the plucking hand thumb. Some special sound effects for the plucking hand. Slurs in high positions.
Premiere: Bielefeld-Dornberg 01-24-2016 at concert series for early music by Michael Freimuth

Tuning for this piece

Kokoro - Tuning

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Audio

Audio samples of the premiere – Michael Freimuth, Theorbo

Bar 1-20 (01:40)
Bar 57-75 (01:27)
Bar 85-90 (00:58)
Bar 113-121 (00:43)

Use by courtesy of Michael Freimuth.

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Prélude, Moment et Étude

Lute 8 courses (2014/15) | circa 4’20 min.

Prelude,Moment,Etude-cover-large3 Sets:
1. Prélude réel
2. Moment
3. Étude
Notation: Standard Notation (Modern tablature (figures) in preparation)
Tuning: equal tempered recommended
Annotations: English
Performance duration: c. 4’20 min.

Audio

Audio samples in preparation

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Protobino – Version for Tiorbino or Theorbo

Tiorbino or Theorbo 14 courses (2013) | circa 6’30 min.

protobino-cov-largeThis jazz oriented piece is available in two versions: for Tiorbino / Theorbo and for Piano.
The versions are adapted to the playing technique of the instrument, but otherwise differ insignificantly. I recommend choosing a medium or small instrument with the highest possible tuning.
Notation: Modern tablature (figures)
Tuning: equal tempered recommended
Annotations: German/English
Performance duration: c. 6’30 min.

Tuning for this piece

Protobino - Tuning

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Audio

Audio samples in preparation

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Qtab – Concert Etude

for Theorbo in A 14 courses with stopped courses 1-7 (8) (2015) | circa 5’20 min.

Theorbo in A with stopped courses 1- 7 (optional stopped course 8).
To play on a small or medium sized instrument.
Notation: combination of modern tablature (figures) and staff notation for the bass strings
Tuning: equal tempered recommended
Annotations: English
Performance duration: c. 5’20 min.
Special playing techniques: Hammer-on with fretting hand, percussion on the soundboard, different types of arpeggio.

Tuning for this piece

Qtab - Tuning

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Audio

Audio samples in preparation

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RICERCAR I

for Lute 10 courses and Archlute 13 courses – 1 Player (1988) | 23 min.

ricercar-cov-p1-img2-large9 Sets:
Einleitung · Resonanz I · Intonation I · Glissando I · Kadenz I ·
Intonation II · Resonanz II · Glissando II · Kadenz II
Lute 10 courses and Archlute 13 courses (1 player)
To play also on a large instruments
Notation: modern tablature and graphic notation (manuscript)
Tuning: equal tempered recommended
Annotations: German/English
Performance duration: c. 23 min.
Special playing techniques: A lot of special playing techniques. Use of feather and slide.
Premiere: Folkwang University Essen 11-19-1989 by Michael Freimuth

Tuning of both instruments for this piece

Ricercar 1 - Tuning

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Audio

Audio samples in preparation

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THE BEAR ON THE BRIDGE (JACARAS)

for Baroque Guitar (2014) | 3 min.
This piece is part of “ECOS DE LA DANZA”, a series of solo dances for various historical plucked instruments

Baroque Guitar – course 5 high
Restriction in rapidity when using a larger instrument
Notation: standard staff notation
Tuning: equal tempered recommended
Annotations: German/English
Performance duration: 3 min.
Special playing techniques: Percussive effects such as golpe, ghost notes and slap.

Tuning for this piece

The Bear on the Bridge - Tuning

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Audio

Audio samples in preparation

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Find more audio samples written in traditional styles from pieces for historical plucked string instruments on Auditions.
For example: RIFFS or TANZ.

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