Rage over hearing loss


Commissioned by Ensemble Broken Frames Syndicate and Lüneburger Symphoniker.
Instrumentation: 2 Fl., 2 Ob., 2 Cl., 2 Bn., 2 Hn, 2 Tpt., Timp., String Trio Solo, Strings.
Prémiere: 25 October 2020 Theater Lüneburg, Lüneburger, Germany. Ensemble Broken Frames Syndicate and Lüneburger Symphoniker.
Duration: 10 min.

Everyone knows about Beethoven deafness, as well as is aware of how this affected his way of composing, especially in the “late period”.

What I started wondering while working at this new piece was: what if Beethoven would have had the possibility to listen to his own music thanks to a cochlear implant?

A cochlear implant is no more than an implant, that tries to make up for some hearing impairments, but with a lot of limitations in terms of timbre, pitch and overall sound quality. Cochlear implants’ users can quite well listen to speech, but definitely less to music.

How would have Beethoven’s music sounded to him if he would have had such implant? And how would have it clashed with its own mental music machinery?

In attempting to answer to these questions, “Rage over hearing loss” for String Trio and Orchestra was born. The title is also a reference to Beethoven’s piano rondo “Rage over a lost penny” (originally known as Die Wut über den verlorenen Groschen, ausgetobt in einer Caprice), shyly quoted here and there.

Sounds that little by little loose their inner quality, appearance of tinnitus and disclosing of compositional processes, the piece tries to create a bridge between the composer’s mind and the audience, who is listening to it and with its presence is letting the music itself to exist.