privat klavier quartett

for 4 pianists, 1 grandpiano and a game of cards

commissioned by hr2 kultur frankfurt


four pianists and one piano?

quartet playing is still considered the pinnacle of chamber music
no wonder, that already children are trained in this art with the help of simple card games
such as "car", "super hero" or even "dinosaur" quartet.
my piece "privat klavier quartett" bridges the world of children and adults,
though no dinosaurs are trampling the bridge, instead its about used pianos.

four musicians sit around a table and play a card game.
on the cards are captions from ebay advertisements of used pianos, sorted according to
piano maker, state, colour or more exotic criteria like "belonged to the owner of a singing school".
the vagueness of the descriptions provokes creative negotiation skills, an essential part of the games rules.
once a player achieves to complete a quartet, he recites one of a colletion of short texts,
dealing with various aspects of used pianos, while his fellow players go about moving
transducers and objects in the interior of a grand piano next to their table.

piano playing proper is neither part nor purpose of the piece.
instead the big black object functions as a resonator and filter for all the sounds originating from the table.
all that card shuffling, finger tapping, moving of glasses (the possible consumption of alcohol
during the performance is expressly noted in the score) is picked up by some contact mics under the table
and transmitted to transducers inside of and on the strings of the piano. some 12 tone chords
of silently pressed keys fixated with the third pedal, chromatically colour these sounds.
in this piece, the piano is rather subject than instrument.

premiered 2014.30.04 at "lange nacht der neuen musik" @ music academy, frankfurt
a special radio version of the piece was broadcast on 2015.02.14 @ artist corner, hr2 kultur
an article by jozef cseres about music and card games, mentioning the piece, appeared in the czech music magazine "his voice" 2015.01.21

score(german) & playing cards as pdf.

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