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Karrer Bruno

(25. 12. 1956)

Karrer Bruno
Karrer Bruno
Hörenstr. 38
CH-9113 Degersheim
Schweiz

Tel: +41 (0)71 370 00 65
Fax: +41 (0)71 370 00 67


Biography
After completing his education at a teacher training college, Bruno Karrer began studies in guitar at the Musikhochschule Winterthur. After graduating, he studied music theory as main subject and gave concerts as a soloist and as a member of chamber music ensembles. He has been a professor for music theory at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Winterthur-Zürich since 1986.
In 1987 his compositional work became central to his activities and remained so ever since. This has resulted in numerous works, most of which were commissioned by musicians, ensembles and institutions (e.g. Pro Helvetia and the Schweizerischer Tonkünstlerverein). In 1988 Bruno Karrer received a financial award from the city of St.Gallen, and from the canton of St.Gallen in 1998. Through his collaboration with 'Contrapunkt' (International Society for Contemporary Music, St.Gallen section) he has been able to engage in, realise and actively promote contemporary music.
With his starting point in the aesthetics and technique of the classical avant-garde, Bruno Karrer arrived at a personal approach completely independent of established styles. At its core is the search for the most concentrated musical statement achieved with the simplest means. Meaning and methods are related in the same way as emotion and construction – they stimulate and give rise to each other.


Work list
"stationen" (1977-1988)
6x6 Minutes
for six guitaristds
This processus is developping from hardly anything to a dense texture of sounds by taking up more and more new elements by producing more and more „Musikantisches“.
Duration: 36' 00"
Manuscript
"wie sehr..." (1988)
Responses to 'Die Rättin' by Günter Grass
for soprano, flute, violin and guitar
Texts: Günter Grass
Grass's vivid language acheives a closeness, even an intertwining of the poetic and vulgar, the most beautiful and most appalling. My fascination with this was the trigger for this piece.
Duration: 14' 00"
Manuscript
schatten - risse (1989)
Ninety-two lines
for two sopranos and two violins
Texts: Erica Engeler
After 'Schattensprung' by Erica Engeler.
The instrumentation: music on 'tip toes', elevated, without ground, tries to sublimate the dense texts into fragments of sound. A choice can be made from the ninety-two lines based on various criteria, the result being a variation in the duration of the whole.
Duration: 10' 00"-30' 00"
Manuscript
splitter (1990)
for violin, bass flute, guitar
I for violin solo
II for bass flute solo
III for guitar solo
IV for guitar solo
(each 5-8 minutes)
Here fragments of 'wie sehr...' (III und I) and of 'schatten-risse' (II und IV) are put together to form a module in which the joints can still be heard. III and IV can be played together or their own. III develops a standing tone with the help of different pizzicati and rasgueado-pizzicati, and IV develops gestures and figures out of it.
Duration: 20' 00"-32' 00"
Manuscript
Balance I (1989-1991)
for string orchestra (12.4.4.4 or doubled)
There is not only a continuous search for the balance between, for example, a piano and a forte sound, a deep and a high sound or between this and that group of sounds but also a search for the balance between something precise and something more approximate etc.
Duration: 15' 00"
Manuscript
Balance II (1991)
for two pianos
A reworking of 'balance I' for string orchestra.
Duration: 11' 00"
Manuscript
"über grund – passacaglia sempre" (1991)
for piano
Above the base of the deepest register, where the continuously pulsating, ever-growing passacaglia is apparent, unfolds a second layer which quasi questions the base. Variations in slow motion.
Duration: 20' 00"
Manuscript
"in harter stille will friede nicht" (1992)
Deviations
for quarter-tone bass flute and piano
The fragile sound of the bass flute forms a polar contrast to the crystalline certainty of the piano. This (in many ways) exhaustive passage between the territory of these two poles essentially determines the piece. The title 'shifted' over the whole piece in the same manner as the tragedy beginging in 1992 'shifted' involuntarily over ex-Yugoslavia.
Duration: 17' 00"
Manuscript
"klingt es lange fort" (1992)
for one or more voices
Texts: Friedrich Rückert
About remembering and forgetting. Fragments from Mahler and Rückert are 'remembered' and changed by that. During the ad libitum repetitions only parts of the parts... until ad minimum. When using two or more voices each is to sing in a slightly decreased tempo in order to create an expanding canon.
Duration: 10' 00"-25' 00"
Manuscript
"zur aneignung" (1992-1993)
String quartet No.1
Not an adaptation of the orchestral work bearing the same name, but a new permutation of the same basic idea into a new piece.
Duration: 16' 00"
Manuscript
"annäherung - aneignung – zueignung" (1992-1993)
for orchestra (2.2.2.1/2.2.2.3/perc/pf/14 or 8,10 or 8.8.8.6)
The rich scenery of sound of a certain place is 'reported', composed, improvised; overlapping, penetrating and detaching in various ways.
Duration: 16' 00"-18' 00"
Manuscript
String quartet N0. 2 (1993-1994)
Variations over an old three-tone motive which took its roots in my head while I listened to Aulis Sallinen’s str.q. No. 5. Because of this the variations are arranged from open form to being lost in structure.
Duration: 20' 00"
Manuscript
"über – zeit" (1994)
for two guitars
Time belongs to one of those phenomena that, for the greater part, tends to evade ones intellect when examined closer. Time exists in every piece of music, but in 'über-zeit' the piece develops, to a certain extent completely, from various times.
Duration: 13' 00"
Musikverlag Joachim Trekel
Hamburg
ABOUT (1994-1995)
Based on 'La Cantatrice chauve' by Eugène Ionescu
for mezzo-soprano, oboe, violoncello and piano
Texts: Eugene Ionescu
Scenic or concertante versions possible. The scenic version allows some freedom for the interpreters. The standard text can hardly be recognised as such.
Duration: 30' 00"
Manuscript
"Sisyphos" (1990-1995)
for violin, horn and piano
Duration: 4' 30"
Manuscript
Music for flute and harpsichord (1995)
lamentoso – poco giocoso – poco martellando – cantando
Duration: 14' 00"
Manuscript
"polychorde" (1995-1996)
Concept and composition or twelve polychords (three players)
for two singers, flute, oboe, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, horn and numerous recorders
To get to grips with the strong improvisational and meditative sound world of the polychords, to give them a course of progression, to counterpoint, to structure and expand them without destroying them in the process was resp. is the challenge faced in the planning and the realisation of this score.
Manuscript
"UPON" (1996)
for flute, clarinet, violin, violoncello, percussion and piano
This piece is fully characterized by traditional and constructed scales whose plain objectivity then became fascintating for me.
Duration: 16' 00"
Manuscript
"Echanges" (1996)
Music for ten string instruments
for string oirchestra (5.2.2.1)
Duration: 13' 00"
Manuscript
"mäander" (1996-1997)
for chamber orchestra (1.1.1.1/2.1.2.0/2perc/2pf/4.2.2.2)
Every instrument as well as every instrumental group seperates at least once from the main current to carry out an autonomous course which is in itself through-formed, unmistakable and legitimate. This course however, remains joined to the main current and to other side currents.
Duration: 25' 00"-30' 00"
Manuscript
Three pieces for piano (1997)
The music continuously opens up to quint sounds. In the second piece the quints themselves are subject to an opening process. The third piece then opens the quints again whereby the arising intervals are filled up with clusters which successively thin out until the pure interval appears.
Duration: 9' 00"
Manuscript
Tableau I (1998)
Trio
for flute (bfl), double bass and piano
Apart from the steadily diverging chromatic which is to be innervated like a canvas, I consequently avoided following a certain concept or using preconceived structures in Tableau I. I composed, rather, the piece in the way one can paint: at every approach one notices something that can be added or changed until the picture is finished, the story over, the panel full.
Duration: 6' 00"
Manuscript
Three short pieces (1998)
for violin and piano
Lower to intermediate level.
I Heftig verträumt II Eisklänge III Erinnerung
Duration: 5' 00"
Manuscript
Music to Ijob (1998)
for soprano, bass-baritone, orator and three organs
Texts: Jean Paul Sartre, Nelly Sachs
Based on text fragments from the Book of Hiob and texts by authors of the twentieth century from Jean Paul Sartre to Nelly Sachs.
The texts are totally central but split in a variety of ways into fragments then distributed to the two singers and the speaker respectively. The listener will only catch, there and then, more or less of the whole even though it is sung and spoken traditionally. The remaining part aims – together with the three space-filling organs – for a bigger and more comprehensive whole.
Duration: 25' 00"-30' 00"
Manuscript
Heftig verträumt (1998)
for piano
Duration: 2' 00"
Manuscript
Drei kleine Stücke für Klavier (three short pieces for piano) (1998-1999)
For intermediate level.
I Heftig verträumt II Eisklänge III Erinnerung

Duration: 6' 30"
Manuscript
Violin concert: Positionen-Bewegung-Spuren (1998-1999)
for violin and orchestra (2.2.2.2/4.2.2.0/perc/ca:10.8.4.4)
The changing positions of the soloist and orchestra set very energetic movements free, each feels for the end of the last cadential part of the other.
Duration: 16' 00"-19' 00"
Manuscript
Stimmen (1999)
Quintet
for flute, trumpet, violin, violoncello and piano
Stimme I for trumpet
Stimme II for cello
Stimme III for piano
Stimme IV for violin
Stimme V for flute
The solo pieces form the main part of the respective instruments in the quintett. During the course of the piece each instrument effectively imposes its 'voice' thereby taking over the lead in the corresponding part.
Duration: 14' 00"
Manuscript
Stimmen III (1999)
for piano
Duration: 3' 00"
Manuscript
Stimmen V (1999)
for flute
Duration: 3' 00"
Manuscript
Tableau II (1999)
for violoncello solo
Analogue 'Tableau I' worked.
Duration: 7' 30"
Manuscript
Tableau III (2000)
for flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, trombone, piano, string quartet and double-bass
Duration: 9' 30"
Manuscript
Locos (2000)
for clarinet, viola, violoncello, double-bass and piano
Reverberating over and over the music appears to remain still, not to move from its place. The title 'Locos' appears to me appropriate in expressing this and is, naturally, a reference to the body who commissioned this piece. It also plays with local complexion, namely Albanian folkmusic, which shortly quasi-appears in the background.
This piece is dedicated to the 'Asmus Ensemble' and its director Sokol Shupo, Tirana.
Duration: 12' 00"
Manuscript
Gesänge zur Sonne (2000-2001)
for twelve voices (3S3A3T3B) and a room
Texts: Franz von Assisi, Joseph Bernhart, Huub Oosterhuis, Nelly Sachs, Karl Wolfskehl, Arnim Juhre, Thomas Bernhard, Walter Neumann
Parts I-II-III, ad lib. only I, II, III or only I and III or only II and III.
Based on the 'Song to the Sun' by Francis of Assisi and texts by Joseph Bernhart, Huub Oosterhuis, Nelly Sachs, Karl Wolfskehl, Arnim Juhre, Thomas Bernhard and Walter Neumann.
Manuscript
TRANSIT (2001-2002)
for eleven brass (1pictpt.4tbn/hn.3ttbn.btbn.tba) and percussion: two players (five cymbals, one large drum, four bongos, one tam-tam four Chinese wood blocks)
Duration: 18' 00"
Manuscript
recherche (2001-2002)
for violin and kantele (or harp)
Duration: 9' 00"
Manuscript
rotations libres (2002)
for guitar and accordion
The opposing sound worlds of the two instruments are fathomed, the aura of which can occasionally be heard. A piece of contrasts in many aspects yet of a great formal closeness.
Duration: 16' 00"
Musikverlag Joachim Trekel
Hamburg
Tableau IV (2002)
for soprano and string trio
Duration: 18' 00"
Manuscript
Cello concert 'Autour d’Ariane' (2002-2003)
for cello and strings (5.2.1.1)
Duration: 16' 00"
Manuscript
Around (2003)
for soprano and viola
Duration: 9' 00"
Manuscript
Rothko I (2004)
for flute (pic), oboe, clarinet (bcl), viola, violoncello, double-bass, marimbaphone and piano
Duration: 15' 00"-16' 00"
Manuscript
Rothko II (2004)
String quartet No. 3
Duration: 16' 30"
Manuscript
Rothko III (2004)
for clarinet, trombone and piano
Duration: 16' 00"
Manuscript
Tableau V - quasi forte (2004)
for voice (alto) solo
Duration: 12' 30"
Manuscript
Tropus (2004)
for voice and trombone (mezzo-soprano and tenor trombone) or two instruments
Duration: 15' 00"
Manuscript
Spirales (2005)
for violin solo
Duration: 14' 00"
Manuscript
Rothko V (2005)
for orchestra (2.2.2.2/4.2.3.0/perc/str)
Duration: 29' 00"
Manuscript
Circles Lines (2006)
Three pieces
for two pianos
Duration: 15' 30"
Manuscript
A Beautiful Day (2006)
for 3 flutes or other melodic instruments
Duration: 5' 00"-6' 00"
Manuscript
Walser I (2006)
for soprano or tenor and accordion
Texts: Robert Walser
Duration: 10' 00"
Manuscript
Walser II (2006)
for soprano and/or tenor, violin and accordion
Texts: Robert Walser
Duration: 15' 00"
Manuscript
Walser III (2006)
for tenor or soprano and violin
Texts: Robert Walser
Duration: 10' 00"
Manuscript
Bright Darkness (2006)
for two double basses
Duration: 15' 00"-16' 00"
Manuscript
(2013)

Duration: 12' 00"
Manuscript
Diskographie
Karrer - Tschaikovskij (Relief Nr. 991066, 2002)
Werke:
Karrer, Bruno: Violinkonzert: Positionen-Bewegung-Spuren (1998-1999)
Mit weiteren Werken von: Pjotr Iljitsch Tschaikovskij
Alfons Karl Zwicker - Bruno Karrer (stv/asm Nr. 7, 1999)
Interpreten:
Wyttenbach, Jürg
Werke:
Zwicker, Alfons Karl: Erfrorene Träume (1990-1992)
Karrer, Bruno: „mäander“ (1996-1997)
Info: www.fonoteca.ch
Arioso-Quartett St. Gallen (Classic 2000 Nr. C2 / 9, 1996)
Werke:
Zwicker, Alfons Karl: Rituale für Fada (1994)
Karrer, Bruno: „zur aneignung“ (1992-1993)
Schoeck, Othmar: Streichquartett in D-Dur, op. 23 (1911-1913)
Info: www.fonoteca.ch