Composer: Johannes Steinbauer
Instrument: Vibraphone and Percussion
Duration: approx. 25 min.
The 2020 Solo Trilogy for Vibraphone and Percussion was written during the pandemic for which the year 2020 will forever be remembered. The titles of the three movements, ATMOSPHÄREN (atmospheres), KRISIS (crisis) and REGENERATION (regeneration), suggest an abstract „programme“.
The vibraphone is the main instrument in 2020, but other percussion instruments also feature, providing extraordinary tone colour in ATMOSPHÄREN and REGENERATION and dominating in KRISIS.
My special thanks go to Johannes Wippermann for the fantastic interpretation, the WDR Cologne for the creative video production and the EDITION SVITZER for the wonderful layout.
I wish all performers and audiences of 2020 an intense experience. Johannes Steinbauer Bonn, August 2021
Vibraphone (range: f - f3, with and without motor)
Chinese Cymbal (medium size)
Waterphone Wuhan gong (medium size)
Chinese opera gong (high, hanging)
Chinese opera gong (medium, lying flat and slightly dampened)
2 Bongos (high/mid)
Tom tom (medium low)
Bamboo wind chimes
Several asian (temple) wind bells, for example japanese furins
Wooden sticks with heavy heads (or inverted snare drum sticks)
2 cello or double bass bows
Performed by Johannes Wippermann
About the composer +
Johannes Steinbauer was born in 1973 in Bavaria (Germany) and started drumming in a brass band at the age of 11. Later, he was taught by Christian Obermaier, who laid the groundwork for his professional training.
In 1993, whilst studying with Prof. Arnold F. Riedhammer at the „Richard Strauss Konservatorium“ in Munich, Johannes Steinbauer won a position as percussionist in the „Beethoven Orchester Bonn“. In 2001 he was appointed Principal Percussionist of the „WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln“.
Studies for snare drum and percussion were written in 2019, based on decades of orchestral experience. In 2020, Johannes Steinbauer composed his first solo pieces, including the 2020 Solo Trilogy for Vibraphone and Percussion, which was produced by the Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Cologne in 2021.
For more information, please visit www.charakter-etueden.de
Review (Percussive Notes, February 2022)
With “2020,” Johannes Steinbauer has composed a substantial work for solo vibraphone with a small multiple-percussion setup, all performed by one person. As the title indicates, the piece was written in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic and its three movements constitute a sort of “abstract program.” Movement one, “Atmosphären,” consists of soft glissandi up and down the naturals with the melody played as bowed long notes for most of the movement. I very much appreciate the soft and subtle nature of this movement which, appropriately, is quite atmospheric! The second movement, “Krisis,” is much more energetic and rhythmic than movement one. Steinbauer juxtaposes repeated patterns on the vibraphone, bongos, and toms with mixed meters and unexpected accents to create a sense of disorientation in the listener (at least this listener). The final movement, “Regeneration,” returns to a sense of calm, opening with soft rainstick and bamboo wind chimes. The vibraphone music in this movement is perhaps the most traditionally composed, as it consists of many passages where the left hand accompanies the right-hand melody.
Each of the movements is quite challenging from both a musical and technical standpoint, calling for two- and four-mallet playing as well as comfort with extended techniques and navigating a small multiple percussion setup. It will also require a mature performer to keep the performance mood going for its nearly 30-minute length. To assist with this, Steinbauer provides performance notes, including lighting instructions and further details for each movement. I highly recommend this for a graduate or professional recital.
—Joseph Van Hassel
Front Cover: Julia Okon
Front Cover Artwork: Nicola Lee
Photo: Thorsten Blumberg
Translation: Dan Townsend
Engraving: Johannes Steinbauer
Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
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