Dr. Vera Ivanova, Composer
Vera Ivanova,
composer

'...internationally recognized as an emerging artist of great talent.'

Campus Times (University of Rochester/Eastman)

The Laughing Man Alphabet

duet (2013-14)

The title of the piece ("The Laughing Man Alphabet") refers to the last name of the contemporary German composer Helmut Lachenmann (b. 1935), whose last name, loosely translated to English, means "laughing man." The reference will not limit itself only to the title of the piece; my musical idea is to incorporate Helmut Lachenmannan's suite for piano " Ein Kinderspiel" (Child's play," a suite of seven little pieces composed in 1980) as a framework in my own composition, shaping the form as seven variations on Lachenmann's seven little piano pieces. A particular emphasis (in terms of musical references) is given to the first piece from the suite, "Hanschen Klein" (translated to English as "Little Hans"), because of its importance and placement (as an opening movement) in Lachenmann's suite.

Program Notes:
The title of the piece ("The Laughing Man Alphabet") refers to the last name of the contemporary German composer Helmut Lachenmann (b. 1935), whose last name, loosely translated to English, means "laughing man." The reference will not limit itself only to the title of the piece; my musical idea is to incorporate Helmut Lachenmannan's suite for piano " Ein Kinderspiel" (Child's play," a suite of seven little pieces composed in 1980) as a framework in my own composition, shaping the form as seven variations on Lachenmann's seven little piano pieces. A particular emphasis (in terms of musical references) is given to the first piece from the suite, "Hanschen Klein" (translated to English as "Little Hans"), because of its importance and placement (as an opening movement) in Lachenmann's suite.
"Hanschen Klein" is the title of a poem by German author and public school teacher Franz Wiedemann (1821-1882). It is a story about a little boy who was gone for seven years and when he comes back, he is all grown up and changed so much that only his mother recognizes and welcomes him back. The importance of this poem is significant in German culture: the text was set to a tune (the source of the tune is debated) and became a popular children's song, which was quoted at the opening of the iconic movie about the World War II, " Cross of Iron" (1977). It also seems that the reference in the Wiedemann's poem to seven years of wandering might have impacted the overall form of the Lachenmann's suite, written in seven movements, and that's why not only the titles of Lachenmann's short seven pieces are quoted in subtitles of my seven variations, but also lines from Wiedemann's poem, tracking the path a prodigal son.
The goal of incorporating Lachenmann's "Ein Kinderspiel" into my own composition is not only to reference his piano suite, but also to re-imagine the seven years of "joy and tears" of the prodigal son's journey through my seven variations for flute and piano.

Instrumentation
Flute/Alto Flute/Piccolo and Piano
Duration
c. 15
Premiere
36th Moscow Autumn Festival, November 27, 2014, Ivan Bushuev and Mikhail Dubov
Score Sample
Pages from The Laughing Man Alphabet-score
» View
» Download

Click here to contact composer about this piece.

Performances:

April 24th, 2016
The Laughing Man Alphabet, duet (2013-14) - Hear Now Festival
November 23rd, 2015
The Laughing Man Alphabet, duet (2013-14) - Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble
November 21st, 2015
The Laughing Man Alphabet, duet (2013-14) - Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble
Sound Ways Music Festival 2015 (Saint Petersburg, Russia)
July 17th, 2015
The Laughing Man Alphabet, duet (2013-14) - Brightwork newmusic ensemble
This performance is a part of Synchromy concert series.
April 15th, 2015
The Laughing Man Alphabet, duet (2013-14) - Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble
The Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble (flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano) returns to Chapman University to present a program of contemporary music, from Edison Denisov's musical tribute to Shostakovich ("D-S-C-H") to works by Tristan Murail, Sean Heim, Alexander Radvilovich, Helmut Lachenmann, Vera Ivanova, Morton Feldman and David Lefkowitz.
April 14th, 2015
The Laughing Man Alphabet, duet (2013-14) - The Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble
Jan Popper Theater, UCLA (Los Angeles, CA)
World Premiere
November 27th, 2014
The Laughing Man Alphabet, duet (2013-14) - Ivan Bushuev