To Eurydice

music for stringquartet [1981] | duration: 19’00”

Composed during his years of study in Vienna, this piece represents M. Lichtfuss’ first exploration of the string quartet. In 1983, the composer created a version for string orchestra.

Despite their programmatic titles, the individual movements are to be regarded as primarily atmospheric; the second movement, in its three parts, forms the core of the work.

The starting point for the composition was the view of the mythological event as a “dream”. A first section depicts the underworld as a symbol of sleep, as a sphere of the subconscious in which we face familiar persons as shadowy appearances which are however not actually physically present. Orpheus’s encounter with his dead wife and his desire to see Eurydice again and to perceive her physically ultimately bring him back to conscious reality, an awakening from his phantasmal imagination. After a brief lament, the phantom vanishes into the realm of “night.” Orpheus is left behind with his “reminiscence”.

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