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Time‐Space Experience in Works for Solo Cello by Lachenmann, Xenakis and Ferneyhough: a Performance‐Sensitive Approach to Morphosyntactic Musical Analysis

Time‐Space Experience in Works for Solo Cello by Lachenmann, Xenakis and Ferneyhough: a... Recent studies in music performance reflect an increasing degree of specialisation: quantifiable methods of performance science, research into the impact of historical performance styles on contemporary practice, performance‐oriented analysis and performers’ own perspectives on the music they perform often share common objectives but approach them through radically different channels and methods. In particular, two methodological oppositions frequently coexist unsympathetically rather than communicating with each other: (1) the historical and analytical interest in how musical structure is qualified in particular performances or performance styles often seems incompatible with the quantifiability of tempo, duration and dynamics in recorded music as widely explored in current performance studies; (2) such a rationalisation of performance parameters is often considered to be antagonistic to the inescapable and idiosyncratic forms of ‘intuitive knowledge’ or ‘informed intuition’ (Rink , p. 36) applied by performers in rehearsal and performance.In this essay I plan to tackle the first opposition by means of continuous references to the second. In facing the first opposition, I wish to find ways in which a historically and analytically informed qualification of performed sound structures and quantified data derived from recordings can be brought into a meaningful cross‐relation. My case studies here are three significant solo cello works dating from the 1960s and ’70s: Iannis Xenakis's Nomos Alpha (1966), Helmut Lachenmann's Pression (1969–70) and Brian Ferneyhough's Time and Motion Study II (1973–6). All three have become classics of the solo cello repertoire despite the exceptional difficulties they pose, and they have been performed and recorded frequently. My focus lies on the compositional construction, performative communication and perceptual experience of temporality. More precisely, I intend to explore how particular forms of time experience, as suggested by these works’ musical structure and the composers’ poetics, are transformed into experienced sound‐time in performance and perception.In order to relate performed sound structures to quantified data, I shall discuss the three works in a twofold process: each is introduced briefly according to a method that I have termed ‘morphosyntactic analysis’, which aims to capture the multivalence or layeredness of musical sound particularly by cross‐relating spatial or morphological aspects of perception (gestalt formation and spatialisation of events in memory) and temporal or syntactic aspects (transformation or change of musical events or processes in time and their syntactic relationships). It is in part derived from Nicholas Cook's idea that musical structure is not simply encoded in the score but rather constituted in the acts of performance and perception (Cook and ), and it is grounded on research into the perception of musical sound in Albert Bregman's model of spatialised auditory ‘scenes’ based on musical streams, contours and segments (1990) and Irène Deliège's theory of cues, imprints, and prototypes (Deliège and Mélen ). Similar to what Cook defined as ‘performative analysis’ (1999, pp. 242–4) and understanding performance and analysis as ‘interlocking modes of musical knowledge’ (1999, p. 248), this approach describes different strata of aural experience and relates them to one another, demonstrating possible synergies as well as conflicts between them. The main techniques of analysis in addition to established methods of sketch‐ and score‐based structural analysis are close listening, the strategic use of amplitude graphs and spectral analyses, and the inclusion of performances and recordings in the analytical process. The latter strategy will be utilised in depth in this essay, exploring how specific models of temporality isolated in the analyses are actually rendered in performance; thus, the present essay is also conceived of as an exemplification and expansion of the morphosyntactic analytical model. This involves the interpretation of quantified data from studio and live recordings as well as a consideration of composers’ and performers’ statements about their intentions and experiences. In order to demonstrate the versatility and context sensitivity of the analytical method and to point to broader tendencies within the discussed repertoire against the background of its historical context, Lachenmann's Pression will be analysed in greater detail, particularly in terms of its large‐scale form, while only one representative section each from Xenakis's and Ferneyhough's works will be addressed.Musical Temporality: Methodological ConsiderationsThe reason for choosing temporality as the main field of inquiry is that the experience of musical time is often conceived to lie at the ‘heart of performance’ (Rink , p. 39) while appearing to be sidelined by structuralist analysis. In fact, ‘the time of music’ has been a broad field of investigation for a quarter of a century (see Alperson ; Kramer ; Barry ; Houben ; Klein, Kiem and Ette ; Berger and Crispin and Snyers ), even if few of these studies have an explicit analytical focus. In recent essays I have discussed aspects of the analysability of temporality in twentieth‐century art music (Utz and ), aiming at a morphosyntactic analysis and historical contextualisation of fragmented and/or spatialised concepts of musical time as frequently conceived in postwar art music by such composers as Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Giacinto Scelsi and György Kurtág. A common objective found in most of these approaches is the drive towards an implicit destabilisation or even an open rejection of ‘objective’ musical time as represented by architectural formal metaphors or simplified ‘clock’ models. Cook's recent explorations into the temporality of musical performance suggest that the use of such metaphors, inherent in most established theories of musical form, has its complement in the history of performance styles, for it interlocks closely with literalist performance traditions embodied by Stravinsky's aesthetics of ‘execution’ (1947, p. 122) and most prominently promoted and disseminated by Nadia Boulanger (see Cook , pp. 219–23). Cook's study emphasises repeatedly, however, that (pre‐modernist) ‘rhetorical’ and (modernist) ‘structuralist’ or ‘literalist’ performance styles do not conform neatly to a coherent history of performance – a point also raised by other scholars of musical performance (Hinrichsen , pp. 36–7). Indeed, an enduring opposition to ‘literalist misunderstandings’ in the verbal interpretation and performance practice of postwar art music helps to explain the extent to which non‐linear, phenomenological or presentist time concepts were embraced by the musical avant‐garde (Utz and ). Thus, it is not as obvious as it may seem that recent avant‐garde music relies merely on literalist performance traditions. Conversely, the following analyses will provide ample evidence for Cook's claim that ‘rhetorical and structuralist approaches represent complementary possibilities for construing music as thought and action’ (2013, p. 129) rather than irreconcilable opposites which establish a linear historical causality.By the same token, however, it is clear that Cook's distinction between a performance‐oriented phenomenological approach that conceives music as time, as opposed to the structuralist idea of presenting a musical object in time (pp. 124–34), appears artificial when read against composition and performance practice. For one thing, the question of how a performer may suggest, support, subvert or combine different forms of temporal experience cannot be answered straightforwardly: composers’ and performers’ shaping of time and listeners’ experience of it do not necessarily correlate with one another, nor can they be reduced to simple aesthetic categories or quantitative data. Moreover, it may be maintained that the quantitative aspect of time (music in time) is, in the end, inextricably bound to the qualitative aspects of time experience (music as time), even if not in the sense of a simple correlation or reciprocity. It would be nearly impossible, for instance, to experience a sharp, regular beat as a manifestation of timelessness or to perform contemplative listening in a ‘chaotic’ montage setting such as those created by John Zorn's group Naked City. Apart from such obvious examples, of course, it is necessary to insist on an unrestricted freedom of association and imagination with regard to the experiences of musical temporality and time‐related expectation and retrospection. Musical expectancies in particular, a key area of time experience in and through music which has recently turned into a rapidly expanding field of research, are for the most part culturally generated or mediated. Deducing generalised psychological and formal trajectories from this prerequisite, however, reveals questionable tendencies towards an analytical standardisation of expectancy‐related time experience – as demonstrated, for example, by Michael Spitzer's insightful essay on the musical representation of fear in Schubert (2010; see Utz ). Given such moves towards (re‐)standardisation in the wake of psychologically informed analytical methods, the need to re‐emphasise the merits of performative analysis as outlined above appears to be a vital precondition of non‐essentialist analytical thought.In short, despite the many conceptual and methodological caveats inherent in an analytical incorporation of musical temporality, this subtle topic should not be disregarded; not only is it considered a key area of musical experience by composers, performers and listeners alike, but it also signifies a potential space in which diverging branches of musical scholarship and practice may be meaningfully interrelated – a task I shall undertake in the next three sections.Lachenmann's Pression and Three Archetypes of Musical TemporalityHelmut Lachenmann's work Pression has come to be much referenced in musicological writings because it seems most clearly and rigorously to epitomise the composer's influential idea of musique concrète instrumentale, in which sounds are experienced as the immediate results of their production rather than mediated by a historically loaded space of listening conventions and metaphorical meaning (see Lachenmann , p. 150 and , p. 308). One of the means invented to provoke this kind of ‘liberated perception’ is Lachenmann's complete redesign of musical notation (Ex. ), which famously avoids references to conventional staff notation in favour of a tabulature‐like designation of the performer's movements. This approach is largely retained in the two revised versions of the score, published in 2010 (handwritten) and 2012 (engraved), although they introduce a number of more conventional elements, notably bar lines, time signatures and expressive instructions. The focus on the performer and his or her body is also signalled by the work's subtitle ‘for a cellist’ (rather than ‘for cello’) and by Lachenmann's stipulation, in the preface to the 1972 edition, that the piece be played from memory so that the view of the performer onstage is not obscured by a music stand. In a literal sense, then, Lachenmann's body‐oriented concept of sound is rendered in performance, and the impression is enhanced that heard sounds are perceived as traces or imprints of the performer's movements. While body language and choreography have been shifted into the foreground in recent performance studies, including some of Pression (see Orning , pp. 22–4 and 2013, as well as Lessing and 2010), it is important to note that the piece was conceived in a post‐serial manner, with performance techniques treated rigorously as parameters of the music and subjected to a systematic elaboration. At the same time, it is crucial to understand the piece's sound world as an example of a politically motivated liberation of perception against the background of a wave of ‘critical composing’ emerging in Germany during the 1968 student movement (see the composer's remarks on his piece in Lachenmann and Brodsky ).1Ex.Lachenmann, Pression, first two systems in 1972 and 2012 versions. © 1972 by Musikverlage Hans Gerig, Köln, copyright assigned 1980 to Breitkopf & Härtel, Wiesbaden.Starting from a perception‐oriented approach to Pression’s sound categories and formal design, I developed a morphosyntactic analysis of this work in earlier studies (Utz and ), which have already referenced recordings and reconsidered earlier analyses of the piece. With regard to temporality or the experience of time, this earlier analysis suggested the interaction of three different sound‐time archetypes, which shall be re‐examined here for their impact on performance practice.Time as Space/Spatialised TimeA common analytical approach would be to identify the most salient events in the sound process of the work and relate them to one another in a hierarchical space where the most salient events form the top layer (Fig. ), a technique which understands the post‐tonal, largely unpitched sound structure as a ‘hierarchy of saliences’ (Lerdahl and Imberty ). Considering that large parts of the piece operate on a very low dynamic level, two events can be singled out as particularly salient: a continuous pressed bow section near the beginning of the work (crotchet 86), rendered fff throughout with the bow pressed on the strings close to the tailpiece on the wrapping of the strings, lasting ‘at least 60 seconds’, and a ‘distinct pitch’ section near the end on a D♭3 (crotchet 262), lasting ‘ca. ten seconds’, with dynamics increasing to and decreasing from ff. In addition, in the centre of the work we hear a long section of about 35 seconds dominated entirely by sounds produced through springing bow (saltando, crotchets 99–133). Here, the wood of the bow excites the A and C strings from below or the bow hair touches the frame of the bridge or the corpus. All other events in the piece may be related to these three phases, which form the two top hierarchical levels (see again Fig. ). For example, impulses within the opening glissandi (crotchets 13–35) as well as the final saltando impulse (crotchets 346–349) might be conceived as hints and echoes of the saltando in the centre of the piece; alternatively, the long sostenuto section (crotchets 180–255), in which a continuous soft ‘noise’ sound produced by muting the string with the left thumb and bowing close to the bridge is repeatedly unmuted, temporarily revealing distinct pitches, might be considered as a precursor of the distinct‐pitch section enacted immediately afterwards.1Lachenmann, Pression: ‘spatial’ perception modelIt has often been said that this kind of architectural‐hierarchical analysis fails to capture the way performers and listeners experience musical time. On the other hand, one can argue that our memory tends to spatialise events in time to some extent because otherwise events occurring during real‐time listening could not be meaningfully related to one another. Particularly in long‐term memory, spatialisation is vital to the process of ‘making sense’ (Snyder , pp. 14–15 and 216–17). Lachenmann's setting in Pression, where three salient sound events (the pressed bow, the saltando and the discrete pitch) emerge from an amorphous ground and are then established over longer time windows, lends the sound structure a particular morphological character, which facilitates this sort of large‐scale spatialisation in memory. The architectural model here can thus be considered not merely as a theoretical construction, but as a debatable model of the perception of large‐scale form.In order to support the perception of a spatialised time, the individuality of the different morphological events or states would have to be sharply distinguished from one another by the performer. Furthermore, a compression of time would facilitate the memory work to be performed by the listener. Thus a fast tempo and strong contrasts between the sound events (and in particular between noise and pitch) would enhance the spatial time model in performance.Transformative/Processual TimeA model orientated towards real‐time listening rather than towards the activation of long‐term memory might focus on what has been described as ‘categorical transformation’ within and between ‘sound families’ in Lachenmann's music (Neuwirth ). The composer was clearly conscious of this idea when composing Pression and the conceptually related string quartet Gran Torso (1970–1, revised 1976 and 1988): he stated that in the quartet ‘pitch and noise were not opposites, but constantly emerging from one another in different ways as variants of superordinate sound categories’ (Lachenmann , p. 227). In almost all recordings the pressed‐bow sound, which is supposed to suppress any manifestation of pitch, actually retains elements of clearly decodable pitch areas; conversely, the ‘distinct pitch section’ contains noise components, as the D♭3 here is actually split into two adjacent pitches, producing interfering beats and thus noise components. The most relevant sound document in this respect is Michael Bach's 1991 studio recording, in which the pressed‐bow section renders a clearly audible D♭2 which is further linked to other prominent occurrences of D♭ in the piece (Fig. ). Thus, the pressed‐bow and distinct‐pitch sections here correspond closely, even though this might be the result more of coincidence than of conscious planning; that ‘noise’ and ‘pitch’ do not function as opposites, however, also becomes obvious in other areas of Bach's recording where the pitch class of D♭ surfaces. This would suggest a perceptual approach that comprehends Pression as a constant and audacious variation on D♭, which is repeatedly distorted and blurred but always resurfaces. This model can also be applied beyond the domain of pitch: in fact, the entire piece might be perceived as a continuous transformation within and between four large‐scale areas (see again Fig. ), each dominated by a particular sound quality emerging from an amorphous ground: pressed bow (crotchets 1–98), saltando (crotchets 99–164) and discrete pitch (crotchets 165–280), with the fourth area (crotchets 281–349) leading the sound back to a very remote and soft plane, recapitulating, echo‐like, all three salient sound qualities heard earlier, in the manner of a coda (Jahn , pp. 44 and 51).2Lachenmann, Pression: ‘processual’ perception modelProcessual time could probably best be communicated in performance by presenting each sound event as part of a large transformative chain over the duration of the entire work. One image that comes to mind is the outworn metaphor of organic growth, which, though commonly rejected in key areas of new‐music discourse, still figures prominently in many performers’ conceptualization of time formation and rhetorical expressive gestures, although it might be termed differently, for example as ‘synthesis’ (Rink , p. 56). It appears that a slow tempo and a minimisation of contrasts would be adequate to enhance the often meticulously formed transitions between the different sound fields of Pression.Presentist Time/‘Moment’ TimeThe transformation model presupposes organic unity where the fragmentation and isolation of events might be a more suitable perceptual strategy. Indeed, the duration of the pressed‐bow section – at least 60 seconds, according to the score – is an invitation to embark on a ‘process of tactile discovery’ (Abtastprozess), to use the composer's favourite metaphor (see Lachenmann , pp. 77–8): to experience this sound in all its dimensions and its diverging inner processes without immediately demoting it to merely one of several events in a large‐scale structure or chain of events. The same mode of perception might be adequate for most of the other sections or ‘moments’ in the piece (Fig. ). This experience of sound presence might further be enhanced by empathising with the performer, of whom the sounds require the utmost bodily commitment, producing a form of energy which in turn has the potential to be transferred to a sensitive listener (see Lessing , p. 117).3Lachenmann, Pression: ‘presentist’ perception modelIn order to enhance the impression of discontinuity and fragmentation and allow each sound event or field to develop its proper quality and ‘proper time’ (Eigenzeit; see Mosch , p. 37), a high degree of contrast that sets events apart from one another will again be necessary. In contrast to the architectural model, however, a slow or irregular tempo would probably contribute to the impression that the individual events are isolated from one another rather than forming a continuous chain or set of points in an imaginary space. This impression could be further enhanced by the player's movements during live performance, for example by ‘freezing’ during the less dense areas between the salient events while energetically projecting the events themselves, thus amplifying their individuality. Of course, achieving a complete fragmentation of perception, the attainment of a ‘permanent presence’, is difficult, if not impossible; it is arguably unavoidable that, after temporarily ‘seizing the moment’, our memory becomes active again and starts building structures. A continuous interaction between the three perceptual strategies might therefore provide a more solid basis for a performative, perception‐oriented analysis.By labelling these three modes of time experience ‘archetypes’, I maintain that they can be multiply related to influential traditions in the history of music theory:The architectural model is of course inherent in the tradition of Formenlehre and emerged from discourses on the hierarchy of the senses around 1800, where the sense of sight, linked to Kant's ‘pure contemplation’ (reine Anschauung), was considered superior to imprecise hearing. Metaphors derived from architecture were closely linked to this superiority of the eye and had pervaded writings on music since at least the middle of the eighteenth century (see Utz , pp. 19–36). A prominent manifestation of this tradition is Schenker's concept of Fernhören (Schenker [1894] , p. 103; see also Furtwängler , pp. 201–4; Larson , pp. 115–16 and Cook , p. 52), which described the ideal situation of listening from an elevated point ‘beyond’ the musical work. As mentioned earlier, this vision‐dependent view of musical form was sustained by literalist performance traditions emerging as early as the 1920s.The transformation model can be linked to the tradition of musical energetics most prominently represented by Ernst Kurth's theory of musical forces but also by Schenker's theoretical model (see Spitzer , pp. 330–41), which demonstrates that it is ultimately not at all incompatible with the metaphor of architecture. To some extent and in a simplified formulation, we might see the interaction between architectural and process‐oriented models as analogous to the interaction of the perception of large‐scale musical form and real‐time musical perception.The idea of an ‘unlimited presence’ of individual moments naturally brings to mind Stockhausen's idea of ‘moment form’ (; see Utz , pp. 119–21), as elaborated into, among others, ‘moment time’ in Jonathan Kramer's The Time of Music (1988, pp. 50–2 and 207–8). This model assumes a basic discontinuity of time perception and is informed by techniques of twentieth‐century art and music such as montage, fragmentation and the ‘powderisation’ of musical syntax. This model of presentist listening also has precursors dating back at least to early nineteenth‐century Romantic listening concepts of hearing proposed by Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder, Clemens Brentano and Jean Paul, among others (see Utz , pp. 115–21).Which of these three models is closest to the dimension of the composer's various and changeable intention(s) and how have performers approached or combined them in the available recordings? To start with the third archetype: a ‘presence’ of the two pivotal events – pressed bow and distinct pitch – seems to be particularly enhanced by the composer's notation, as they are the only points in the piece where a continuous grid of sectional time markers is suspended for extended fermatas of 60 and 10 seconds respectively. The rest of the piece is organised by this grid throughout – except for a small number of (short) fermatas and two slight changes in pulse of merely local significance (poco rubato in crotchet 125 and poco più vivo in crotchets 287–288). The space between two markers in most cases equals one crotchet (sometimes also three or four crotchets) in a tempo of ‘ca. 66’ beats per minute; the score thus seems to suggest a clear pulse and a steady, rather fast tempo. However, the composer himself has repeatedly declared that the sounds in Pression have (or need) their ‘proper time’ (Eigenzeit), that performers should listen carefully to the sounds (‘den Klängen nachhören’; see Mosch , p. 37 n. 14) and even that the piece should be phrased in a rubato manner, similar to Schumann's Träumerei (Orning , p. 21). On many further occasions, Lachenmann has explained that the production of his ‘noise’ sounds requires the utmost attention to a particular form of ‘sound culture’ which has to be studied and cultivated with great care, in a way similar to traditional (classical) sound production (Lachenmann and Hermann ).Lachenmann's statements on performance present another case of the impact of rhetorical performance style, which seemingly had its peak in the decades around 1900. This bears a surprising resemblance to several paradoxes inherent in the relationship between analysis and performance described by Cook in the contexts of Schenker's theory of performance and the performance history of Webern's Piano Variations Op. 27. Although Schenker's thoughts on performance were deeply embedded in the rhetorical tradition of the nineteenth century, to a point where they became a poor fit with his modernist theoretical approach (Cook and , pp. 80–90), Webern's ideas about the performance of his Op. 27 drew on the practices of pre–World War I rhetorical performance rather than on the work's serial organisation (Cook , p. 130 and forthcoming). Cook uses such examples to advance his thesis that performance does not serve a reproduction of structure but rather semiotically references gestures, genres and styles of concurrent and earlier performance traditions as well as the repertoires with which they are associated (Cook , p. 125 and forthcoming). There may be many areas of contemporary avant‐garde music in which such seemingly outdated rhetorical performance traditions survive (see also the ‘Performing Time’ section below).Which solutions did the performers of Pression realise? In a first comparison of existing recordings, published in 2006, Ulrich Mosch noted that the metronomical duration of the piece as calculated from the score, taking into account fermatas and local tempo changes, is about 6′30″. The 2012 version of the score expands the total duration slightly (363 crotchets, rather than the 349 crotchets of the 1972 version). The calculated durations of both score versions, including fermatas and tempo changes, are about 6′31″ for the 1972 version and 6′47″ for the 2012 version. (The metronome marking of crotchet = ca. 66 is not included in the 2010 handwritten version but is re‐inserted in the 2012 engraved version of the score; the 2010 and 2012 versions of the score specify a duration of nine minutes, without further comments on the intended temporal design of a performance.) All recordings Mosch compared were conspicuously longer. Although Mosch conceded that this tendency was probably due to the ‘physical conditions of realisation’ of some sounds in Pression which simply required more time to be produced than the original tempo would offer, he remained sceptical about the composer's ‘liberal’ attitude towards tempo deviations (Mosch , pp. 37–8; Mosch was supported in this by other researchers during the discussion; see p. 38 n. 15) and argued that while the individual quality of the sounds was surprisingly consistent in most recordings, no performance was entirely satisfactory with regard to the necessity of placing ‘the right sound at the right time’ (p. 38).An expanded comparison of the fifteen recordings of Pression presently available – two LP, nine CD, one CD/DVD and three self‐produced live and studio recordings published on YouTube (see Appendix) – largely corroborates the results of Mosch's study. In order to allow a detailed comparison among recordings, I have divided the piece into four main sections, each consisting of a total of thirteen subsections (with subsections 1–5, 6–7, 8–11 and 12–13 forming the four main sections) according to the paradigmatic events and processes outlined above (Table ). This sectional analysis refines earlier synopses of the piece provided by Jahn (, pp. 42–9 and 52) and Neuwirth (, p. 87).Lachenmann, Pression: sectional analysis of 1972 and 2012 versions1972 version2012 versionSections/subsections*Crotchets*Crotchets per sectionDuration [sec.]*RatiosBars*Crotchets per sectionDuration [sec.]*RatiosInstrumental techniques (selective summary)111–58 1/1/1–2/4/557.666752.420.141–18362.166757.520.14– bowing on bridge; gliding fingertips along the strings; fingernail accents– gliding thumb on hair of the bow and fingertips on the wood of the bow– bowing on bridge259–71 2/4/6–3/1/913.208312.010.03183–2113.208312.010.03– bow grabbed with approx. half the hair length, moved vertically on strings372–85 3/2/1–3/3/314.125012.840.0322–2614.125012.840.03– bow pressed at the tailpiece4861.000060.000.15271.000060.000.15– bow pressed at the tailpiece / slapping fingerboard with open hand → wiping back and forth587–98 3/3/5–3/4/812.000010.910.0328–3112.000010.910.03– moving bow on flat surface of bridge2699–133 4/1/1–4/4/935.000033.820.0832–4438.375037.890.09– col legno saltando from beneath the strings + saltando on surface of the bridge + saltando on body above the bridge7134–164 5/1/1–5/3/931.000028.680.0745–5432.125029.700.07– scratching motion; slapping the body with the palm [combined with] bowing on tailpiece38165–179 5/3/10–5/4/915.333313.940.0455–5915.333313.940.03– bowing behind/near the wood of the bridge → bright noise9180–252 6/1/1–6/4/1972.333365.760.1860–8371.333365.350.16– bowing at ponticello; pressing the thumb of the left hand against the string; lifting thumb to create pitched sound of open string → flautando/pinching the string between thumb and index finger10253–268 7/1/1–7/1/1816.333423.940.0584–8816.333424.940.06– arrival at open string IV (A♭1); beating between microtonal variants of D♭3 → unison; glissando al pont11269–281 7/2/1–7/3/112.875011.700.0389–9112.875011.700.03– echo‐like recapitulation of sec. 9 (string II, F3)412282–325 7/3/2–8/2/644.125042.110.1092–10644.125040.110.10– sharp jerk (quasi whistle)/saltando; fingertips along the strings (left hand without bow)/legno saltando/legno battuto [combined]13326–349 8/2/7–8/3/1524.000022.820.06107–11630.000030.270.07– fingertips along the strings; plucking strings/buzzing resonance by stopping strings with wood of the bow; wiping with wood of the bow; Bartók pizzicato + saltandoTotal349390.951.00363407.181.00*The sections in the 1972 version (published by Breitkopf & Härtel in 1980, HG 865) are indicated by page number/staff system/crotchet and by consequentially numbered crotchets. The counting of crotchets follows the analysis in Jahn (, pp. 44–6), where the events 3/3/4 and 7/1/10 are counted as only one crotchet each (in the second instance, Lachenmann actually notates a semibreve with fermata in the staff system but three crotchets in the ‘timeline’). In one instance Jahn's indications were corrected (the ‘bar’ 6/4/7–6/4/10 features four crotchets, but Jahn only counts three [crotchets 240–242]; possibly this is due to a printing error, because in the 2012 edition the analogous passage, bar 80, indeed features only three crotchets). The sections in the 2012 version (Edition Breitkopf 9221) have been indicated by bar numbers and beats. The durations in both versions have been calculated assuming an exact duration of MM = 66 with fermatas and prescribed temporary changes in tempo included in the calculation.Fig. shows the durations of all fifteen recordings compared to both versions of the score. The average duration of these recordings is 8′27″, almost two minutes longer than the durations specified in the score versions. Although statistically the deviations are fairly constant over the four main sections or fields of the piece (both when compared to the score and among the performers), a more detailed comparison of the durations of all thirteen subsections (Fig. ) shows how strong the organisation of time differs among performers. The centre of the pressed‐bow section (subsection 4, crotchet 86), at least 60 seconds according to both versions of the score, ranges between 27 and 81 seconds (average: 58 seconds); the saltando section (subsection 6, crotchets 99–133), which requires particular care in performance (34 or 38 seconds, according to the scores) and for which Mosch's reflection about the additional time required to produce the sounds may be most convincing, ranges between 37 and 59 seconds and on the majority of recordings is considerably greater than the prescribed duration (average: 51 seconds); in the longest subsection of the piece, the ‘morsing’ area (subsection 9, crotchets 180–255), which stages the slow emancipation of pitch from noise, performers’ time also differs strongly (63–102 seconds; average: 81 seconds), although a third of the performances (five out of fifteen) are faster than or almost equal (63–67 seconds) to the prescribed duration (66/65 seconds), owing probably to the clearer rhythmic profile of this subsection and the ternary metre alluded to in the 1972 version by dotted bar lines.4aLachenmann, Pression: comparison of 15 recordings (durations; four large sections)4bLachenmann, Pression: comparison of 15 recordings (durations; 13 subsections)A more qualified comparison is gained when the ratios of performers’ deviations from notated time are compared (Fig. ). The deviation of the total durations ranges between 6% (Stromberg's 2013 recording) and 45% (Lessing's of 2005). What is more important, however, is the standard deviation among the deviation ratios of the thirteen subsections for each performer (ranging between 17% and 49%), which tells us how constant the overall tempo is kept and to which degree the proportions between the sections of the score were preserved in performance even where the chosen tempo is considerably slower than that indicated. Considering both values, the recordings of Kasper in 2009, Kooistra in 1992, Bach in 1989 and 1991, Grimmer in 1991 and Fels in 1995 emerge as the most consistent, though both Fels and Bach, in his 1989 recording, deviate from the score considerably in terms of total duration.5Lachenmann, Pression: comparison of 15 recordings (ratios of deviation from score; unnumbered sections are ≤15% deviation); the values in braces indicate the ratio of deviation from the score duration and the standard deviation between the subsections of a performance.Returning to the three domains of time experience derived from our morphosyntactic analysis, we now may look at the degree of contrast between the events and at the vividness with which the sounds’ individuality is rendered. In a session of close listening I chose three recordings in which one of the time‐experience domains appears to predominate.Spatialised TimeMichael Kasper's recording definitely follows the score most literally in terms both of duration and of performing ‘the right sound at the right time’. The contrasts between the different sound qualities are clear‐cut. This also means that the sectional form is rendered quite transparent, for example by a very pronounced acoustic marker on the ‘whistle’ accent which serves as a signal of the beginning of the coda (crotchet 281). The recording fulfils the requirements of spatialised time not least by closely following all major details of the score, including the temporal design, which is in tune with Kasper's (slightly disillusioned) stance that the ‘objective tone’ in new‐music repertoire ‘de‐personalises and de‐mystifies what is played. The act of interpretation follows the act of composition. There is no place for egomaniac self‐aggrandisement’ (Kasper , p. 16).This statement is at odds not only with Lachenmann's insistence on a rhetorical performance tradition, but also with the unsurpassed flow of Kasper's recording, which is probably the result of the cellist's long experience with the piece. Toying with his presumably ‘conservative’ perspective, Kasper – who has been the cellist of the Ensemble Modern for more than three decades – says that this experience leads him to associate Pression’s sounds with ‘motifs or themes from a sonata by Brahms or Beethoven’ and adds dryly: ‘I've no idea whether this benefits the piece or not. “Pression” must retain its sting’ (2009, p. 17).Processual TimeIn several instances Kasper's performance seems a little too straightforward: for example, in the long ‘morsing’ subsection (subsection 9), which slowly introduces pitched sounds, he articulates distinct pitches without making audible the laborious manner in which they are produced (the left thumb, muting the bowed string from below, is temporarily removed, while the bow excites the string very close to or on the bridge); this is consistent with the architectonic model, which emphasises the boundary between noise and pitch. Michael Bach's 1991 recording, by contrast, makes the technical difficulty of this passage clearly audible: each ‘pitched’ tone sounds different, and each occupies a different position on the gradual scale between noise and pitch. In many other respects, as outlined earlier, Bach's recording approaches the transformative time model: it keeps the purely amorphous passages such as the first subsection rather short, while prolonging the areas of transition (subsections 5, 7 and 11, as well as subsection 13, the final one; see again Figs and ). His pressed sound is exciting, always at the edge of rupture, but held together by the basic sonority of D♭.Not unlike Kasper, Bach felt the need to issue a witty statement about his performance of Pression in the CD booklet suggesting a desire to overcome the composer's somewhat conventional reference to a ‘traditional sequence of tension and development’ (Bach ). This is clearly audible in the risk Bach takes in producing each sound. However, the impression of a transformative thread running through the entire performance prevails, not least owing to sensitive, though not totally coherent, timing decisions.Presentist TimeTo my ear, two recordings best represent the idea of discontinuous presence: Walter Grimmer's of 1991 and Taco Kooistra's from the following year. Grimmer's use of gut strings lends his performance the utmost intensity but somehow greys out the overall timbre. Kooistra develops a similar intensity, and his interpretation of the pressed‐bow section is probably the most adventurous and least ‘classicist’ of all the recordings. Strong contrasts and an irregular though not exceptionally deviant timing may further contribute to the impression of exclusive ‘moments’. This, however, is clearly incompatible with Kooistra's own comments about the work, which – like the composer's – emphasise its classical dimensions:[W]hen I create a sort of white noise in Pression […] this results in a range of colour differences that is just as wide as in Bach's or Beethoven's music; only the resulting colours are different from theirs. […] Because the audience doesn't know much about Lachenmann's music […] there will not be the same amount of discussion about the colour differences within the ‘white noise’ sound as there will be in the case of the one note in the Bach suite; but the issue is the same. Neither do I believe that there is an essential difference between the shape of Lachenmann's piece and that of a Beethoven sonata. […] Beethoven shaped his story into a sonata form and Lachenmann tells a story about colour that ends in one note. In both cases, the result is music; it still concerns emotion and the building or lessening of tension. (Kooistra , pp. 4–5)Of course, the listener has many additional options. She might choose to focus on a single sound in the Kasper recording, losing herself in the individual sound's topology without following the piece's architecture. Or she might listen to Kooistra's recording – probably in tune with the performer's intention – as a linear narrative. However, the substantial, even amazing differences between the recordings should not be underestimated. What we hear in the recordings of Pression is not one piece of music but fifteen different pieces. Arguably, this is not due to the tabulature‐like notation, since the individual sounds are, as already observed by Mosch, rendered with a high degree of consistency in most recordings. In fact, it seems that most performance effects contributing to the different kinds of performed and experienced temporality discussed above are the results of conscious decisions by the performers to communicate an inherent time quality of the music, clearly aiming beyond a mere execution or reproduction of the notation.In any case, the composer might not be too happy with this discussion of implicit temporal dimensions in his music. Although he has declared the experience of presence as a ‘key utopia’ of his composing (Lachenmann ; see Utz ), which led, among other things, to the composition of his late orchestral piece NUN (‘Now’, 1999–2002), he is outspoken in his criticism of attributed temporality in music:I don't think in […] categories [such as a spatial, temporal or teleological sense of time in my music]. And I'm sceptical towards such semi‐philosophical terms. Is the sense of time in the music of Webern or Bach more spatial, or more temporal or teleological? I really don't know, and I don't want any music to be put in some predefined or pre‐codified terminological category. I prefer to create or to be exposed to an auditory situation or process in which those categories will be forgotten. When experiencing an earthquake or a thunderstorm, when surrounded by mountains or looking into the waves of the sea, or just studying the structure of the bark on an old tree, such categories have no place. (Lachenmann and Heathcote , p. 345)Xenakis's Nomos Alpha: ‘Outside’ and ‘Inside’ TimeXenakis's Nomos Alpha has become not only a classic of the solo cello repertoire but also one of the composer's best‐known and most‐discussed works, probably not least because Xenakis himself generously offered a detailed analysis of its mathematically inspired structure. In a chapter of his book Formalized Music, he discerns an (unordered) ‘organization outside‐time’, designating systematically designed collections of musical material, and an (ordered) ‘organization in‐time’, designating procedures which arrange this material in a temporal sequence (1992, pp. 219–36). Despite complex mathematical procedures of sieve theory and group theory involved in the compositional process of Nomos Alpha, the result appears not exceptionally complex but indeed quite transparent: ever‐changing permutations of eight ‘macroscopic’ sonic complexes (S) are mapped to continuously changing durations, pitch structures, densities and dynamics in a post‐serial manner. The 24 sections of the piece constitute six principal parts of four sections each, with every fourth section (i.e. the final section of each part) functioning as a kind of ritornello (DeLio and Peck , pp. 73–81). While the eighteen ‘strophic’ sections reflect the main compositional procedure through a montage‐like change between clearly distinct (though often internally related) sound events (eight events are permutated in each section), the ritornellos reduce this complexity considerably by limiting the musical fabric to long sustained notes, creating large‐scale markers that facilitate the overall orientation during the listening process. A morphosyntactic analysis may aim to interpret the syntactic sense created by the mathematically construed order of the events and the interaction of continuous and discontinuous temporality suggested by Xenakis's compositional method. Robert W. Peck has prominently included in his temporality‐orientated analysis a discussion of the consequences of the piece's structure for performers (2003, pp. 105–11), which, however, since it follows Wallace Berry's normative theory of performance (1989) quite closely and does not consult any existing recording of the work, confines itself to relatively ‘abstract’ suggestions of how performers might – or should – project specific time modes in performance, thus basically cementing the ‘page‐to‐stage’ approach severely criticised by recent musical performance studies (see Cook , pp. 33–55).Considering the first two sections of the work and comparing six available recordings will help sort out the performer's strategies. These two sections make the montage‐ or kaleidoscope‐like character of the music very obvious (Ex. ). This impression is achieved mainly by compositionally isolating the events from one another through rests or caesuras and contrasting dynamics, length, performance techniques and register, all of which result from the post‐serial structure. On the other hand, the fast tempo leads to a close affiliation of the individual events, so that eventually many parts may be perceived as a kind of expanded phrase or cadence. This might be said of the first three events in bars 1–7, for example: while the first two events create tension by means of the virtuosic tremolo and the contrasting dynamics, the isolated pizzicato in bar 7 (the third event) is easily perceived as the goal of this short ‘development’ while also acting as a bridge to the following event chain. Also, many cross‐references between analogous individual events in section 1 (bars 1–15) and section 2 (bars 16–30) can be perceived quite easily (compare, for example, S5 in bars 13–14 and bar 16 or S8 in bars 14–15 and bars 19–21), while the analogy between other pairs remains mainly conceptual (for example, the short duration of the impulse of S3 in bar 30 makes it seem closer related to S1 in bar 7 than to S3 in bars 3–6). In total, as analysed by Peck following Kramer's categories of musical time, this basic structure might either suggest a radical discontinuity of individual ‘moments’ or, owing to basic cross‐referencing within and between sections, a ‘nondirectional linear time’, although directional perception might be inferred repeatedly on a microstructral level (2003, pp. 76–81 and 105–111).2Ex.Xenakis, Nomos Alpha: score, bars 1–30, with sonic complexes marked and numbered events (after DeLio , p. 79). © 1967 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd.The performer thus might choose either to accentuate the aspect of discontinuity or disruption (similar to the presentist time model in Pression) or to establish continuities between the isolated events (as in the transformative time model in Lachenmann's work). While the first mode would suggest again a focus on caesuras, possibly expanding them in a rhetorical manner and enhancing contrast by varying the tempo and dynamics in each section, the continuity‐orientated performer would probably aim to maintain a strict tempo, or at least the ratio between the individual event durations. The recordings show a broad spectrum of tempi and durations of this relatively short section (48 seconds, according to the score), ranging between 53 and 79 seconds (Fig. ). Again, the deviation ratios (Fig. ) are helpful for filtering out the recordings with the most consistent durations, in this case Pierre Strauch's and Roham de Saram's. Close listening leads one to judge Saram's 1991 recording to be the most coherent, since it maintains the sound quality and timbre established at the beginning and avoids strong contrasts; this correlates with the performer's pragmatic perspective on the piece (Saram ). In Strauch's recordings, the same dynamics may be projected in significantly different degrees of loudness (compare events 14 and 15, or 6, 7 and 8); both recordings tend to shorten silences and thus reduce the impression of discontinuity. No performer observes the full measure of the rests; this is particularly the case in the 2010 recording of Arne Deforce, who evidently decided to elaborate the quality of each single event in disregard of the rhythmic and tempo instructions in the score (note his highly disproportionate deviation ratios, shown in Fig. ). This not only leads to an overall duration which, at 19′10″, is about eight and a half minutes longer than that prescribed by the score (10′42″) and six and a half minutes longer than the shortest recording (Strauch's, which comes in at 12′33″), but also allows him simply to reduce the tempo drastically where a literal interpretation of the score would be technically impossible. His metaphorical interpretation of Nomos Alpha as a process of expanding and shrinking sound, as well as other, somewhat cryptic remarks about the piece, might therefore be decoded as support of a certain performer's independence from the notated structure:6aXenakis, Nomos Alpha: comparison of six recordings (duration of events 1–16 = sections 1–2 / bars 1–30)6bXenakis, Nomos Alpha: comparison of six recordings (deviation ratios of events 1–16); the values in braces indicate the ratio of deviation from the score duration and the standard deviation between the subsections of a performance. The square brackets on top indicate sections 1 and 2.Nomos Alpha is moving architecture of sound. A musical space in which structures expand into impressive sound complexes or shrink to the concentrated force of a single tone. (Deforce , p. 82, my translation)[T]hat which can be notated, demarcates the playable and thereby the unplayable. The notation in the score renders legible that which is not audible and the performance renders audible that which is not playable in the score. […] Reading and performance of the music is the art of tracing lines, punctuating, crossing and going beyond. […] The bringing to life of sound. That is what matters. Its energy and infinite difference. Between the strings and the bow, not unity but multiplicity. Between body and sound, not the performance but a plurality of performances! (Deforce , pp. 6–7)Section 1 is particularly interesting with respect to literal performance, since its first two events contain ‘utopian’ notation that, owing to physical limitations, cannot be reproduced literally at the designated tempo: the first event (bars 1–3) would require 45 pizzicato impulses with a speed of ten impulses per second (Xenakis insisted on a conventional ‘non tremolando’ pizzicato playing here), while the second event (bars 3–6) would require a struck col legno at double speed (88 impulses with twenty impulses per second). Fig. compares the solution to this challenge put forward in four out of six recordings. As expected, Deforce renders the highest number of desired impulses in both events, although his employment of ‘tremolando’ pizzicato in fact yields 73 instead of 45 impulses in the first event, amounting to the double duration, while the second event is expanded to almost triple its duration. Saram's solution is the most irregular here: he obviously decided to keep the timing in event 1 while observing the number of impulses in event 2. This results in a distortion of the ratio between these two events, which should have almost the same length, according to the score. Despite these inconsistencies, Saram's and Deforce's recordings present, to my ear, the most convincing solutions to this tricky beginning, since the intensity and speed of impulses arguably are the key features of these two events, rendering the impression of virtuosity most poignantly. The compromises chosen in the other recordings are unsatisfactory: they either keep the desired duration, accepting a considerable lack of density, or keep the number of impulses at a rather slow speed, expanding the events disproportionally.7Xenakis, Nomos Alpha: comparison of three recordings (‘micro‐analysis’ of events 1 + 2)As tentatively discussed above, serial and post‐serial music still has to confront a decades‐long misunderstanding about its presumably authoritarian conception of literalist performance practice, seemingly prolonging Stravinsky's aesthetics of ‘execution’ into the late twentieth and early twenty‐first century (see the ‘Time as Space/Spatialised Time’ section above). Although Lachenmann demonstrated that post‐serial structure and rhetorical performance practice might not rule each other out, Xenakis was quite explicit about the authoritative impact of his notation while also acknowledging ‘utopian’ elements in his scores that cannot be rendered literally in performance:‘My works are to be performed according to the score, in the required tempo, in an accurate manner. […] It is very difficult, but sometimes they succeed. I do take into account the physical limitations of performers […] but I also take into account the fact that what is limitation today may not be so tomorrow. […] In order for the artist to master the technical requirements he has to master himself. Technique is not only a question of muscles, but also of nerves. In music the human body and the human brain can unite in a fantastic, immense harmony. No other art demands or makes possible that totality. The artist can live during a performance in an absolute way. He can be forceful and subtle, very complex or very simple, he can use his brain to translate an instant into sound but he can encompass the whole thing with it also. Why shouldn't I give him the joy of triumph – triumph that he can surpass his own capabilities?’ (Varga , pp. 65–6)Ferneyhough's Time and Motion Study II: Complexity, Energy, ‘Fidelity’The topos of ‘transcendence’, of ‘liberation’ from established modes of both performance and perception conventions, is crucial to the three works discussed here, though it is approached through radically different compositional and notational means. While Lachenmann's score places a new emphasis on the performer's movements, which are prescribed in a most meticulous and authoritarian manner, Xenakis seems to use notation almost as a negligible convention for the temporal placement of sound events (as is obvious from his adaption of a 2/2 metrical grid throughout the piece). The contrasting tendency towards an intentional overdetermination of written notation has been a distinctive criterion for composers associated with (new) complexity since the 1970s, particularly represented by Brian Ferneyhough's scores. This overdetermination, however, did not necessarily imply that the ideal of an ‘execution’ or ‘reproduction’ of notation was further cemented by ‘complexity’ composers. Somewhat conversely, Ferneyhough has argued that notational complexity in his scores is linked to the principle that ‘performers are no longer expected to function solely as optimally efficient reproducers of imagined sounds; they are also themselves “resonators” in and through which the initial impetus provided by the score is amplified and modulated in the most varied ways imaginable’ (, p. 100). Of course, this does not mean that the score might be taken as a pretext for mere improvisation: according to Ferneyhough, the criteria for an adequate musical performance – with ‘no difference […] between Haydn and Xenakis’ – lie in ‘the extent to which the performer is technically and spiritually able to recognise and embody the demands of fidelity (NOT “exactitude”!)’ (1998d, p. 71).In Time and Motion Study II (1973–6) for solo cello and electronics, the relationship of performer and notation is in many respects placed at the centre of attention. The piece is inspired by Antonin Artaud's ‘Theatre of Cruelty’ (see Fitch , pp. 203 and 211 and Archbold, Heyde and Still , 13:50–18:00), and in it the body of the performer is conceived as the protagonist of the sound‐producing media: all sorts of machines (microphones, loudspeakers, cables, tape recorders and live electronic equipment) are attached to or surround the performer in a kind of ‘punitive cage’ (Ferneyhough , p. 394) alluded to in the withdrawn subtitle of the work, ‘electric chair music’. According to Lois Fitch,a […] ‘subjective obscuration’ obtains in the cellist's relationship to the notation alone, particularly the physical demands that must be met in order to render the piece satisfactorily. The performer's feet, throat, palms, nails and various parts of the fingers are called upon, and the cello itself becomes an array of exotic instruments, including guitar, mandolin, zarb [a kind of drum] and piano’. (2013, p. 210)The socio‐political impact of the work, established by its title's reference to efficiency in industrial engineering, is further emphasised by the composer, who suggests an association of the solo cellist with ‘the self‐expression of the individual’ while the continuously interfering loops of past events rendered by the electronic set‐up symbolise the ‘distorting mirror of collectivity (continually frustrating the desire of the performer to speak freely)’. The composer thus aims to shed ‘light on the relationship […] between the individual and the public spheres of experience’ (Ferneyhough , p. 108).With regard to temporality, Ferneyhough follows the established avant‐garde topos of an ‘abolition of linear temporal experience’ (1998a, p. 107) by what he called ‘interruptive polyphony’ or ‘interference form’ (Feller , p. 257), most recently radicalised to a ‘sausage‐slicer technique’ (Ferneyhough and Archbold , p. 49) in which the score is put together from a large number of short fragments in shuffled order. While this is reminiscent of Xenakis's post‐serial montage technique, the largely incessant density of Ferneyhough's music makes it much harder to perceive the music as discontinuous. This is particularly true for Time and Motion Study II, where the electronic feedback loops over long periods obscure the performed actions to a considerable extent, leaving only very few caesuras or regions of low density as large‐scale ‘spatial’ markers. Thus neither a large‐scale architecture nor an isolation of ‘moments’ (despite the composer's insistence on discontinuity) seems to render an adequate analytical approach here. The processual model, in contrast, seems in tune with the fact that the electronics replay events that have already been performed, which contributes to an impression of permanent transition.Although it is extremely hard to isolate single events in this ‘stream of consciousness’, the beginning and ending of the piece conform to their conventional framing function by reducing complexity and putting the focus on the cellist. Not unlike the beginning of Xenakis's piece, the first nine bars (according to my analysis) establish a series of eighteen contrasting events, cued by salient attacks and impulses (Ex. ). All three professional recordings of the piece render the temporal and proportional order of these events with remarkable consistency, considering the notational challenges involved (Fig. ). The ‘extremely nervous’ character indicated in the beginning and obviously anticipating the piece's narrative of the ‘oppressed individual’ is arguably best rendered in the most recent recording by Neil Heyde () which keeps the timing most consistent while (similarly to Strauch's Xenakis recording) some events are rendered rather hastily (event 18, for example, is virtually non‐existent in his performance, while both Taube's 1977 recording and Gauwerky's from 1988 focus on this event as a ‘cadential’ marker concluding the first section of the work).3Ex.Ferneyhough, Time and Motion Study II: bars 1–10, indication of 18 events in bars 1–9, live electronic part omitted. © 1978 by Hinrichsen Edition Peters Edition Ltd. London.8Ferneyhough, Time and Motion Study II: beginning; events 1–18 (bars 1–9), comparison of 3 recordings (durations)In a video documentary, Neil Heyde defends the composer's notation, saying that alternative solutions to score the sound events, such as semi‐improvisational indications on a time scale, would not ‘necessarily keep challenging’ him to work harder; and he particularly highlights the ‘helpfulness’ of poetic instructions in the score such as ‘sudden extremes of stillness and mobility, like certain reptiles and insects (i.e., praying mantis)’. The composer supplements this by saying that today's ‘highly intelligent performers’ are no longer content to play ‘what is in front of them or what someone else thinks is in front of them […], entering into this much more organic confrontation between […] poetic imaginaries and the practice of the music’ (Archbold, Heyde and Still , 9:10–13:00).Performing TimeThe integration of quantitative and qualitative performance studies into morphosyntactic analysis might be considered a promising field in current music research so long as it avoids the one‐sidedness potentially inherent in all the subdisciplines involved: structural analysis, music psychology, historical and empirical research, performance practice. A highly complex phenomenon such as the performance and experience of musical temporality cannot be adequately grasped by either of these subdisciplines alone but requires forms of mutual dialogue between methodological traditions. The studies offered here propose ways in which such a dialogue may become fruitful.The analyses above may also help to contextualise and scrutinise a number of decisions that musical performers have to make with respect to composed, performed and perceived temporality, four of which can be summarised here.On a basic level, the performer must decide whether to render the ‘time of music’ as represented by the rhythmical‐metrical structure of the piece literally or whether elements of a rhetorical performance style should be (consciously or spontaneously) incorporated even when this is not indicated by tempo changes in the score: a general rubato, particular tempo decreases to mark the beginning and/or end of phrases or sections, perhaps the deliberate expansion or shortening of rests, and so on. It is evident that these decisions are particularly dependent on larger and often historically ‘loaded’ performance traditions.In cases where a performer decides not to observe a prescribed tempo, should the ratios between events and sections be preserved and thus the alternative tempo be kept more or less strictly throughout, or should tempo changes that are not indicated be allowed or perhaps even emphasised in order to render the impression of discontinuity?Should the individuality of musical events in general be stressed by attributing particular timing, timbre, dynamics or performance movements to each event group or ‘sound family’, or should the performer aim to minimise contrasts by understanding all individual events as parts of a large transformation process?What degree of precision should be devoted to the performance of events or sections that are obviously (partly) ‘conceptual’ or (consciously) ‘utopian’? Should precision of pitch/rhythm be superior or subordinate to the overall temporal order?It is obvious from the preceding discussion that no straightforward or generalised answers to these questions can be provided and that each combination of answers is going to yield different concepts of temporal experience such as those summarised above as spatial time, processual time and presentist time – or, most likely, a sort of interaction between these three categories. Obviously, the solutions found by individual performers rarely involve rigorous structuralist analytical activity but rather reflect many of culturally informed decisions, a not inconsiderable number of which might be enacted spontaneously only during a particular live or recorded performance. Of course, these decisions are not made in vacuo but rather are indebted to performance traditions, some of which today are still ‘lurking in the darker corners of the conservatories’ (Ferneyhough , p. 4). However, many of them are more recent in origin and are part of an oral transmission in the field of contemporary‐music performance practice that is still poorly documented and presents an obvious desideratum for future research.Seen from this angle, it is clear that all three discussed scores represent the musical avant‐garde's criticism of unreflective performance practices very decidedly, since they provoke the cellist to reconsider or even reinvent every single movement and sound as well as the way they are communicated to an audience. However, the case studies have also made it apparent that a prominent type of convention in performance, which is aptly summarised if perhaps overgeneralised in Cook's term ‘rhetorical performance’, nevertheless remains vital to both composers’ and performers’ imagination of sound time from the 1960s until the present day. This is true not only for the widespread remnants of rhetorical performance surviving in the narrower field of new‐music performance practice, but also for the idea, indebted to nineteenth‐century aesthetics, that virtuosity ‘transcends’ musical experience beyond established perceptual constraints.Working out performance‐sensitive analyses thus should not lead to misconceptions about a performance‐related or perceptual methodological positivism. To reduce musical experience to fragmentary real‐time listening, to the bodily experience of performed sound or to the energy produced during performances would turn the necessary amendments which the performative turn has made to established musicological practices into an impoverishment. More than a decade ago Nicholas Cook postulated that musical works should be regarded as both ‘frameworks for a performance culture’ and as ‘objects of contemplation or critical reflection’ (2005, [para. 24]). The implications of compositional structure on performance and perception cannot be limited to what is performable or perceivable, since this would imply a normative understanding of what can be performed or perceived (a criticism of the musical avant‐garde based on alleged ‘cognitive constraints’, as formulated in Lerdahl , has been refuted so often and so convincingly that it seems unnecessary to return to it here at length; see especially Cook , pp. 241–5). It is the marked impetus of liberation from established modes of perception and performance, a trope deeply embedded in musical modernity, which the three works by Lachenmann, Xenakis and Ferneyhough discussed above share. Their act‐ and perception‐oriented composing might be seen not so much as a naive adherence to a modernist concept of technical progress, but as an insistent reminder that our senses are acting and evolving within an unlimited universe of musical sound time that composers, performers and listeners are constantly reconfiguring.AppendixRecordings AnalysedName of performer, year recorded, publisher and year of release (where applicable), total duration and URL of performance (where available)a.Lachenmann, Pression1.Werner Taube, 1971 (Edition RZ, 1990), 8′20″2.Michael Bach, 1989 (Edition RZ, 1990), 9′16″3.Michael Bach, 1991 (CPO, 1992), 8′39″4.Walter Grimmer, 1991 (Col Legno, 1994), 8′17″5.Taco Kooistra, (Attacca Babel, 1992), 7′52″6.Pierre Strauch, 1993 (Accord 1993), 8′37″7.Lucas Fels, 1995 (Montaigne, 1995), 9′21″8.Benjamin Carat, 1998 (GRAME, 1998), 8′04″9.Wolfgang Lessing, 2005 (Wergo, 2008), 9′28″10.Martín Devoto, 2008 (BlueArt, 2008), 8′45″11.Michael M. Kasper, (Ensemble Modern, 2009), 7′35″12.Jonathan Gotlibovich, 2011 (live recording, Haifa, 29 March 2011), 7′23″, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep6joCRmWxg13.Mykhailo Babych, 2012 (live recording, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, 8 June 2012), 8′57″, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug1iahj82ok14.Lauren Radnofsky, 2012 (Mode Records, 2012), 9′07″15.David Stromberg, 2013 (studio video recording), 7′09″, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7Gzrake8nIb.Xenakis, Nomos Alpha1.Pierre Penassou, 1967 (CVC LP, 1968; EMI CD, 2010), 17′57″2.Siegfried Palm, 1974 (Deutsche Grammophon LP, 1975; CD, 2002), 14′25″3.Pierre Strauch, 1990 (Erato, 1992), 12′33″4.Rohan de Saram, 1991 (Montaigne, 1992), 15′26″5.Arne Deforce, 2010 (Aeon, 2011), 19′10″6.Martina Schucan, 2011 (live recording, Zürich, 27 May 2011), 15′20″, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EN5qpvAG0_I, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwUs4EPJAIkc.Ferneyhough, Time and Motion Study II1.Werner Taube; Thomas Kessler, Dieter Mack, live electronics, 1977 (Musicaphon LP, 1978), 22′18″2.Friedrich Gauwerky, 1998 (Etcetera, 1998), 22′32″3.Neil Heyde; Paul Archbold, live electronics, 2007, iTunesU/youtube/DVD (Optic Nerve [DVD] 2007), 21′50″, http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Feed/sas.ac.uk-dz.24603997519.024603997521, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sykB4znEk2QNOTESThis essay is an expanded version of a paper presented at the Eighth European Conference on Music Analysis held in Leuven, Belgium, in September 2014. I am grateful for advice received from Oscar Bandtlow, Nicholas Cook, Ellen Fallowfield and Lukas Haselböck, and for financial support for my research from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): P 24069‐G21.1.The method has been elaborated in a series of publications, including Utz (), (), (), (), () and (forthcoming).2.The first edition, originally published in 1972 by the editor Hans Gerig (Cologne), was reissued by Breitkopf & Härtel in 1980 (HG 865); the revised edition was published by Breitkopf & Härtel first as a handwritten autograph dated ‘6. März 2010’ at the end of the score and ‘Juli 2010’ in the performance instructions (here marked as ‘preliminary version’), then, in 2012, in a computer‐engraved version (Edition Breitkopf 9221). In terms of note values, the 2012 edition adds fourteen crotchets, resulting in a total of 363 crotchets (see Table ); in general, the musical structure is preserved in the 2012 edition, including most fermatas and the few isolated remarks referring to the temporal organisation. Detailed comparisons of the different versions are provided in Orning (), Lessing () and particularly Orning (). My analysis will refer to the 1972 edition; events in the score are localised by crotchets, counted from the beginning, following and slightly correcting the procedure in Jahn's analysis (1988, pp. 44–6 and Utz 2013b, p. 12 n. 4; see also Table ). References to the 2012 version are given in bar numbers (see also Orning ).3.To date no detailed study introduces the compositional process which resulted in Pression. Though Mosch has remarked on the systematic treatment of performance techniques in this piece (2006, p. 28), all that can been said so far is that Pression is not, like most other works from this period, based on the complex post‐serial systematic of Lachenmann's ‘structural net’ (Strukturnetz) (see Cavallotti , p. 79), a system first developed during the early 1960s that the composer has since employed continually.4.Earlier analyses were published in Jahn (); Mosch (); Lessing (), () and () and Neuwirth (). Performance is discussed in detail in Mosch (), Lessing ( and 2010) and Orning () and (); Orning is a Norwegian scholar and cellist.5.‘Ton und Geräusch waren keine Gegensätze, sondern gingen als Varianten übergeordneter Klangkategorien immer wieder auf andere Weise auseinander hervor’ (Lachenmann , p. 227).6.This intention cannot be directly inferred either from the score or from Lachenmann's comments on Pression, but it can be tentatively transferred from remarks in the cello part of his string quartet Gran Torso (see Hilberg ).7.‘The success of a performance will be measured by oneself and one's audience not so much by its analytical rigour, historical fidelity or even technical accuracy (at least in some circles) as by the degree to which “resonance” is achieved in drawing together the constituent elements into something greater than the sum of those parts, into a musically cogent and coherent synthesis’ (Rink , p. 56).8.Here Lachenmann seemed to be referring to the phrasing of the entire piece. Orning (, p. 103) provides a more specific statement about the col legno saltando section (crotchets 99–133), about which the composer referred ‘to the performance practice of Schumann and Schubert, which encourages rubato phrasings in order to shape the music’. The indication ‘poco rubato’ in this section (crotchet 125 in the 1972 version; bar 40 – two bars earlier – in the 2012 version) thus seems to be applicable to the entire section, if not to the entire piece. However, this can not be inferred from any indication in the available score versions.9.‘It is important to remember that the opening of the aesthetic as well as the performance‐technical horizon reaches far beyond the discovery of such alienations. This entails, however, an even more precise understanding and observation of their realisation. We are facing here, as in traditional tone articulation, a highly differentiated practice, a unique kind of sound culture that has to be studied carefully and treasured affectionately. Each of these performing techniques has its own fascination and beauty in the sense of sensual intensity’ (‘Wichtig ist mir die Erinnerung daran, dass die Öffnung des ästhetischen ebenso wie des spieltechnischen Horizontes weit über das Entdecken solcher Verfremdungen hinausgeht. Umso genauer allerdings muss deren richtige Ausführung verstanden und beachtet werden. Wir haben es hier, genau wie bei der traditionellen Tongebung, mit einer hoch differenzierten Praxis zu tun, einer eigenen Art von Klangkultur, die man sorgfältig studieren und liebevoll pflegen muss. Jede dieser Spieltechniken hat ihre eigene Faszination und Schönheit im Sinne von sinnlicher Intensität’ (Lachenmann and Hermann ).10.A detailed list of all recordings of Pression is provided in the Appendix. The durations of the recordings compared by Mosch (, pp. 26–38) – six of the eight available in the spring of 2005 – ranged between 8′17′′ (Grimmer's 1992 recording) and 9′32′′ (Michael Bach's of 1989). It is difficult to determine the exact duration of each recording, because the piece opens almost inaudibly and closes with a fermata on a quaver rest followed by a fading‐out resonance. Further difficulties are the high noise level in Bach's 1989 and in Werner Taube's 1971 LP recordings.11.See n. 10 on the difficulty of determining exact durations. At least three out of the four recordings made after 2010 are based on the 2010/2012 version of the score, as can be seen from, among other things, the technique of damping the strings with the chin.12.It has to be emphasised here that the three recordings in which this section is surprisingly short (27, 36 and 37 seconds) are the three YouTube videos included, two of which are semi‐professional in nature (concert recordings by advanced cello students). All other performances stay above 52 seconds here.13.Metaphorical descriptions of some sections in this piece are provided in the performance instructions to the 2010/2012 version, including the ‘“Morse”‐Section’, a term which probably originated in Jahn's analysis, where it is rendered for this section without comment (Jahn , p. 43).14.Stromberg cuts down the 60 seconds of the pressed‐bow section to 37, while Kasper expands it to 67; thus Kasper's comes closest to the prescribed duration of the score.15.‘It is not what is written down, marked out exactly in terms of its sound realisation, and considered as sealed once and for all but those natural, rather subcutaneous penetrations into the sound dimension which, proceeding from the written aspect, are first realised in the process of origination that may be understood […] as an unexpected enrichment or as a disturbing “contamination” and a misleading accessory feature. Viewed in this way, no open contradiction to the score should be in evidence even if Pression sounds differently each time it is performed, this in keeping with the varying outer and inner conditions of reception or […] the […] intentions […] of an interpreter who aimed at the appearances necessarily resulting from his activity and removed from his intentional sphere of influence. […] In fact, a clearly delineated Lachenmannian style has already established itself and been documented today. We know how the composer preheard his music and how it is to be performed. However, does not this aspect of Lachenmannian performance convention, presenting itself here in Pression […] in a traditional sequence of tension and development, express the cheerfully classicistic, the self‐balancing, ironically historicizing withdrawal of an originally more “expressionistic” mentality?’ (Bach ).16.This observation takes up the conclusion of Lukas Haselböck's paper ‘Troping Processes and Irony in Schubert's Schöne Müllerin’, presented at the 2014 EuroMAC Conference in Leuven in the same session at which the author presented the paper on which this essay is based.17.See the expansive analyses in DeLio () and Peck (). The latter is particularly relevant for our context because it considers the piece primarily from the perspective of performance and perception. See also Harley (), pp. 42–4.18.The eight sound complexes are defined by Xenakis and also rendered in graphic form (Xenakis , pp. 222 and 232–3; see also DeLio , pp. 76–81 and Peck , p. 88): (1) ataxic cloud of sound points; (2) relatively ordered ascending or descending cloud of sound points; (3) relatively ordered cloud of sound points, neither ascending nor descending; (4) ionised atom represented on a cello by interferences, accompanied by pizzicati; (5) ataxic field of sliding sounds; (6) relatively ordered ascending or descending field of sliding sounds; (7) relatively ordered cloud of sliding sounds, neither ascending nor descending and (8) atom represented on a cello by interferences of a quasi unison.19.See Peck () and Berry (). The tautological character of Peck's suggestions is obvious; ‘introductory material should have a quality of leading somewhere […]; expository material should be deliberate and obvious, and possess a certain stability. [… O]ne should present closing material with a sense of finality’ (Peck , pp. 109–10).20.Hughes reviews Xenakis's Nomos Alpha attending to Emmanuel Levinas's discussion of this work in Otherwise than Being, arguing that Palm's recording successfully communicates ‘the particular sound of the moment, rather than […] the larger architecture of the composition’, owing to the ‘energy of his performance’ and ‘his labored breathing’: ‘Palm gives the listener an image of the cellist as absolutely committed, body and soul, to this difficult and very physical piece; not passively absorbed but rather utterly focused on the production of sound demanded by the score. The sounds are so precise, so carefully played, and yet so surprising, that Palm himself gives the impression of dwelling, like the listener, fully in the particular sound of the moment, rather than in the larger architecture of the composition’ (Hughes , p. 204). Palm's recording is definitely very energetic but surely not ‘precise’, for it renders most sounds in a rather chaotic and opaque way. (The first event, bars 1–3, is omitted entirely from Palm's recording.) Levinas exemplified the Heidegger‐indebted trope of a ‘vibration’ or ‘resonance’ of being/essence by referencing Xenakis's Nomos Alpha: ‘the strings and wood turn into sonority. What is taking place? […] The cello is a cello in the sonority that vibrates in its strings and its wood […] . The essence of the cello, a modality of essence, is thus temporalized in the work’(quoted in Hughes , p. 116).21.‘Nomos Alpha is klankarchitectuur in beweging. Een muzikale ruimte waarin structuren uitdijen tot indrukwekkende klankcomplexen en weer inkrimpen tot de gebalde kracht van één toon’ (Deforce , p. 82).22.‘[I]n measure 1–3 in Nomos Alpha, the metronome marking is for a half‐note = 75 MM. It is possible to play the sixteenth note pizzicati using either a quasi‐tremolo (as if for a mandolin) using one or two fingers of the right hand, or by combining a pizzicato in the left and right hands. But Xenakis stated he wanted the pizzicati in this section played in the normal manner, with one finger, which makes these first three bars extremely difficult, if not impossible to play at that speed’ (Saram , p. 298). Arne Deforce uses a ‘mandolin’ pizzicato in his 2010 recording of the work.23.‘[A]t measure 4 and seq., the “fcl” (struck collegno) is at double the speed of the articulations of the first three bars, as Xenakis asks for two articulations to each sixteenth‐note! This is clearly impossible with a normal legno battuto. In order to realize such a passage, the cellist would need a bow notched with closely ground “teeth” that would be drawn across the string for measures 4, 5, and 6. This could then possibly reach the speed of articulation required’ (Saram , pp. 298–9).24.See Iddon (), p. 96: ‘[T]he score for Time and Motion Study II expresses more closely the gestures that a performer is expected to make to allow the sounding result of the piece to come into being. This is foregrounded most strongly in the performance directions for various sections, including such instructions as “sudden extremes of stillness and mobility, like certain reptiles and insects (i.e., praying mantis)”, “sharp and dry (the feel of powdered glass between the fingers)” or “analytic but flexible: like a sleepwalker's dance …”. Even without this, however, the absence of a notation for the sounding result of the piece (with the exception of the final page's scordatura), or any indication of the sounds that should be heard from the tape loops, suggests strongly that this is a score for performance, rather than for listening. Moreover, the level of notational detail—up to five separate staves of densely written material—plays a further part in questioning notions of what constitutes an efficient performance.’25.On the dissemination of this topos in the history of twentieth‐century music, see Utz () and ().REFERENCESAlperson, Philip, 1980: ‘“Musical Time” and Music as an “Art of Time”’, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 38/iv (1980), pp. 407–17.Archbold, Paul; Heyde, Neil and Still, Colin, 2007: Brian Ferneyhough: Time and Motion Study II: Electric Chair Music: a Documentary and Performance [DVD] (London: Optic Nerve), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sykB4znEk2Q.Bach, Michael, 1992: ‘Impression’, in Helmut Lachenmann: Chamber Music, CD booklet, CPO 999 102‐2.Barry, Barbara R., 1990: Musical Time: the Sense of Order (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press).Berger, Karol, 2007: Bach's Cycle, Mozart's Arrow: an Essay on the Origins of Musical Modernity (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California 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Harwood), pp. 98–106.Ferneyhough, Brian, 1998d: ‘Responses to a Questionnaire on “Complexity”’ [1990], in James Boros and Richard Toop (eds), Collected Writings, 2nd edn (Amsterdam: Harwood), pp. 66–71.Ferneyhough, Brian, 1998e: ‘Shattering the Vessels of Received Wisdom: In Conversation with James Boros’ [1990], in James Boros and Richard Toop (eds), Collected Writings, 2nd edn (Amsterdam: Harwood), pp. 369–405.Ferneyhough, Brian and Archbold, Paul, 2011: ‘Brian Ferneyhough in Conversation with Paul Archbold’, in Paul Archbold, Performing Complexity: a Pedagogical Resource Tracing the Arditti Quartet's Preparations for the Première of Brian Ferneyhoughʼs Sixth String Quartet (London: Kingston University Press), http://itunes.apple.com/gb/itunes-u/arditti-quartet/id441504831.Fitch, Lois, 2013: Brian Ferneyhough (Bristol: Intellect).Furtwängler, Wilhelm, 1954: ‘Heinrich Schenker: Ein zeitgemäßes Problem’, in Ton und Wort: Aufsätze und Vorträge 1918 bis 1954 (Wiesbaden: Brockhaus), pp. 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Suggestions for a Theoretical Approach’, Contemporary Music Review, 9/i, pp. 325–37.Jahn, Hans‐Peter, 1988: ‘Pression: Einige Bemerkungen zur Komposition Helmut Lachenmanns und zu den interpretationstechnischen Bedingungen’, in Heinz‐Klaus Metzger and Rainer Riehn (eds), Helmut Lachenmann (Munich: edition text+kritik), pp. 40–61.Kasper, Michael M., 2009: ‘“We Have Carried the Cellist to his Grave”’ [Kasper in conversation with Claus Spahn], in Rounds per Minute: Michael M. Kasper, CD booklet, pp. 16–20, Ensemble Modern EMCD‐006.Klein, Richard; Kiem, Eckehard and Ette, Wolfram (eds), 2000: Musik in der Zeit, Zeit in der Musik (Weilerswist: Velbrück).Kooistra, Taco, 1992: [Untitled comments; transcribed by Roeland Hazendonk in] Ladder of Escape 6, Taco Kooistra, cello, CD booklet, pp. 2–9, Attacca Records, Babel 9369‐1.Kramer, Jonathan D., 1988: The Time of Music: New Meanings, New Temporalities, New Listening Strategies (New York: Schirmer).Lachenmann, Helmut, 1996a: ‘Werkstatt‐Gespräch’ [1970], in Josef Häusler (ed) Musik als existentielle Erfahrung: Schriften 1966–1995 (Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel 1996), pp. 145–52.Lachenmann, Helmut, 1996b: ‘Über das Komponieren’ [1986], in Josef Häusler (ed) Musik als existentielle Erfahrung: Schriften 1966–1995 (Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel), pp. 73–82.Lachenmann, Helmut, 1996c: ‘Heinz Holliger’ [1994], in Josef Häusler (ed) Musik als existentielle Erfahrung: Schriften 1966–1995 (Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel), Häusler, pp. 307–9.Lachenmann, Helmut, 1996d: ‘Über mein Zweites Streichquartett (“Reigen seliger Geister”)’ [1994–5], in Josef Häusler (ed) Musik als existentielle Erfahrung: Schriften 1966–1995, (Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel), pp. 227–46.Lachenmann, Helmut, 2003: ‘Helmut Lachenmann, “NUN”: Musik für Flöte, Posaune, Männerstimmen und Orchester’ [programme note], https://www.breitkopf.com/work/3889.Lachenmann, Helmut and Brodsky, Seth, 2013: [Interview with Helmut Lachenmann], Columbia University, 1 April 2010, on Helmut Lachenmann, “… Zwei Gefühle …”and Solo Works, DVD Mode 252, Mode Records.Lachenmann, Helmut and Heathcote, Abigail, 2010: ‘Sound Structures, Transformations, and Broken Magic: an Interview with Helmut Lachenmann’, in Max Paddison and Irène Deliège (eds), Contemporary Music: Theoretical and Philosophical Perspectives (Farnham: Ashgate), pp. 331–48.Lachenmann, Helmut and Hermann, Matthias, 2013: ‘Interview 2’, on Matthias Hermann and Maceij Walczak (eds), Erweiterte Spieltechniken in der Musik Helmut Lachenmanns [CD‐ROM] (Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel).Larson, Steve, 1997: ‘The Problem of Prolongation in “Tonal” Music: Terminology, Perception, and Expressive Meaning’, Journal of Music Theory, 41/i, pp. 101–36.Lerdahl, Fred, 1988: ‘Cognitive Constraints on Compositional Systems’, in John Sloboda (ed.), Generative Processes in Music (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press), pp. 97–121.Lerdahl, Fred, 1989: ‘Atonal Prolongational Structure’, in Contemporary Music Review, 4/i, pp. 65–87.Lessing, Wolfgang, 2006: ‘Musizieren als Prozess: Zur didaktischen Dimension von Helmut Lachenmanns Pression’, in Jörn Peter Hiekel (ed.), Musik inszeniert: Präsentation und Vermittlung zeitgenössischer Musik heute (Mainz: Schott), pp. 73–83.Lessing, Wolfgang, 2010: ‘“Verweigerung von Gewohnheit”: Instrumentaldidaktische Annäherungen an “Pression” von Helmut Lachenmann’, in Ursula Brandstätter, Martin Losert, Christoph Richter and Andrea Welte (eds), Darstellen und Mitteilen: Musizieren und Instrumentalunterricht: Ein kleines Handbuch instrumentaler Interpretation: Aus Anlass des 60. Geburtstags von Ulrich Mahlert (Mainz: Schott), pp. 111–22.Lessing, Wolfgang, 2013: ‘Interpretation, Verstehen und Vermittlung’, in Jörn Peter Hiekel (ed.), Ans Licht gebracht: Zur Interpretation neuer Musik heute (Mainz: Schott), pp. 24–39.Mosch, Ulrich, 2006: ‘Das Unberührte berühren: Anmerkungen zur Interpretation von Helmut Lachenmanns Werken “Pression“ und “Allegro sostenuto”’, in Jörn Peter Hiekel (ed.), Musik inszeniert: Präsentation und Vermittlung zeitgenössischer Musik heute (Mainz: Schott), pp. 25–46.Neuwirth, Markus, 2008: ‘Strukturell vermittelte Magie: Kognitionswissenschaftliche Annäherungen an Helmut Lachenmanns Pression und Allegro Sostenuto’, in Christian Utz and Clemens Gadenstätter (eds.), Musik als Wahrnehmungskunst: Untersuchungen zu Kompositionsmethodik und Hörästhetik bei Helmut Lachenmann (Saarbrücken: Pfau), pp. 73–100.Orning, Tanja, 2012: ‘Pression – a Performance Study’, Music Performance Research, 5, pp. 12–31, mpr‐online.net/Issues/Volume%205%20%5b2012%5d/Orning.pdf.Orning, Tanja, 2013: ‘Pression Revised: Anatomy of Sound, Notated Energy, and Performance Practice’, in Paulo de Assis, William Brooks and Kathleen Coessens (eds), Sound and Score: Essays on Sound, Score and Notation (Leuven: Leuven University Press), pp. 94–109.Peck, Robert W., 2003: ‘Toward an Interpretation of Xenakis's “Nomos Alpha”’, Perspectives of New Music, 41/i, pp. 66–118.Rink, John, 2002: ‘Analysis and/or Performance?’, in John Rink (ed.), Musical Performance: a Guide to Understanding (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 35–58.Saram, Rohan de, 2010: ‘Xenakis: an Ancient Greek Born in the 20th Century’, in Sharon Kanach (ed.), Performing Xenakis (Hillsdale, N.Y.: Pendragon Press), pp. 297–334.Schenker, Heinrich, [1894] 1990: ‘Das Hören in der Musik’, in Hellmut Federhofer (ed.), Heinrich Schenker als Essayist und Kritiker: Gesammelte Aufsätze, Rezensionen und kleinere Berichte aus den Jahren 1891–1901 (Hildesheim: Olms), pp. 96–103.Snyder, Bob, 2000: Music and Memory: an Introduction (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press).Spitzer, Michael, 2004: Metaphor and Musical Thought (Chicago: University of Chicago Press).Spitzer, Michael, 2010: ‘Mapping the Human Heart: a Holistic Analysis of Fear in Schubert’, Music Analysis, 29/i–iii, pp. 149–213.Stockhausen, Karlheinz, 1960: ‘Momentform: Neue Beziehungen zwischen Aufführungsdauer, Werkdauer und Moment’, in Texte zur Musik, Bd. 1, Aufsätze 1952–1962 zur Theorie des Komponierens, ed. 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Jahrhundert und Konsequenzen für die musikalische Analyse’, Acta musicologica, 86/i, pp. 101–23.Utz, Christian, 2015: ‘Paradoxien musikalischer Temporalität in der neueren Musikgeschichte: Die Konstruktion von Klanggegenwart im Spätwerk Bernd Alois Zimmermanns im Kontext der Präsenzästhetik bei Giacinto Scelsi, György Ligeti, Morton Feldman und Helmut Lachenmann’, Die Musikforschung, 68/i, 22–52.Utz, Christian, forthcoming: Bewegungen im Klang‐Zeit‐Raum: Theorien und Geschichte der Musikwahrnehmung im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert als Grundlagen einer Analyse posttonaler Musik (Hildesheim: Olms).Varga, Bálint András, 1996: Conversations with Iannis Xenakis (London: Faber Music).Xenakis, Iannis, 1992 [1955–65/1971]: Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition, rev. edn (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon).NOTE ON THE CONTRIBUTORChristian Utz is Professor of Music Theory and Analysis at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz and Associate Professor of Musicology at the University of Vienna. His monographs include Neue Musik und Interkulturalität (Franz Steiner Verlag, 2002) and Komponieren im Kontext der Globalisierung (Transcript Verlag, 2014). He has also co‐edited Lexikon der Systematischen Musikwissenschaft (Laaber, 2010), Vocal Music and Contemporary Identities (Routledge, 2013) and Lexikon Neue Musik (Metzler and Bärenreiter, 2016). Utz serves on the executive board of the Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie (GMTH) and the editorial board of the Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Music Analysis Wiley

Time‐Space Experience in Works for Solo Cello by Lachenmann, Xenakis and Ferneyhough: a Performance‐Sensitive Approach to Morphosyntactic Musical Analysis

Music Analysis , Volume 36 (2) – Jul 1, 2017

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Music Analysis © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
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Abstract

Recent studies in music performance reflect an increasing degree of specialisation: quantifiable methods of performance science, research into the impact of historical performance styles on contemporary practice, performance‐oriented analysis and performers’ own perspectives on the music they perform often share common objectives but approach them through radically different channels and methods. In particular, two methodological oppositions frequently coexist unsympathetically rather than communicating with each other: (1) the historical and analytical interest in how musical structure is qualified in particular performances or performance styles often seems incompatible with the quantifiability of tempo, duration and dynamics in recorded music as widely explored in current performance studies; (2) such a rationalisation of performance parameters is often considered to be antagonistic to the inescapable and idiosyncratic forms of ‘intuitive knowledge’ or ‘informed intuition’ (Rink , p. 36) applied by performers in rehearsal and performance.In this essay I plan to tackle the first opposition by means of continuous references to the second. In facing the first opposition, I wish to find ways in which a historically and analytically informed qualification of performed sound structures and quantified data derived from recordings can be brought into a meaningful cross‐relation. My case studies here are three significant solo cello works dating from the 1960s and ’70s: Iannis Xenakis's Nomos Alpha (1966), Helmut Lachenmann's Pression (1969–70) and Brian Ferneyhough's Time and Motion Study II (1973–6). All three have become classics of the solo cello repertoire despite the exceptional difficulties they pose, and they have been performed and recorded frequently. My focus lies on the compositional construction, performative communication and perceptual experience of temporality. More precisely, I intend to explore how particular forms of time experience, as suggested by these works’ musical structure and the composers’ poetics, are transformed into experienced sound‐time in performance and perception.In order to relate performed sound structures to quantified data, I shall discuss the three works in a twofold process: each is introduced briefly according to a method that I have termed ‘morphosyntactic analysis’, which aims to capture the multivalence or layeredness of musical sound particularly by cross‐relating spatial or morphological aspects of perception (gestalt formation and spatialisation of events in memory) and temporal or syntactic aspects (transformation or change of musical events or processes in time and their syntactic relationships). It is in part derived from Nicholas Cook's idea that musical structure is not simply encoded in the score but rather constituted in the acts of performance and perception (Cook and ), and it is grounded on research into the perception of musical sound in Albert Bregman's model of spatialised auditory ‘scenes’ based on musical streams, contours and segments (1990) and Irène Deliège's theory of cues, imprints, and prototypes (Deliège and Mélen ). Similar to what Cook defined as ‘performative analysis’ (1999, pp. 242–4) and understanding performance and analysis as ‘interlocking modes of musical knowledge’ (1999, p. 248), this approach describes different strata of aural experience and relates them to one another, demonstrating possible synergies as well as conflicts between them. The main techniques of analysis in addition to established methods of sketch‐ and score‐based structural analysis are close listening, the strategic use of amplitude graphs and spectral analyses, and the inclusion of performances and recordings in the analytical process. The latter strategy will be utilised in depth in this essay, exploring how specific models of temporality isolated in the analyses are actually rendered in performance; thus, the present essay is also conceived of as an exemplification and expansion of the morphosyntactic analytical model. This involves the interpretation of quantified data from studio and live recordings as well as a consideration of composers’ and performers’ statements about their intentions and experiences. In order to demonstrate the versatility and context sensitivity of the analytical method and to point to broader tendencies within the discussed repertoire against the background of its historical context, Lachenmann's Pression will be analysed in greater detail, particularly in terms of its large‐scale form, while only one representative section each from Xenakis's and Ferneyhough's works will be addressed.Musical Temporality: Methodological ConsiderationsThe reason for choosing temporality as the main field of inquiry is that the experience of musical time is often conceived to lie at the ‘heart of performance’ (Rink , p. 39) while appearing to be sidelined by structuralist analysis. In fact, ‘the time of music’ has been a broad field of investigation for a quarter of a century (see Alperson ; Kramer ; Barry ; Houben ; Klein, Kiem and Ette ; Berger and Crispin and Snyers ), even if few of these studies have an explicit analytical focus. In recent essays I have discussed aspects of the analysability of temporality in twentieth‐century art music (Utz and ), aiming at a morphosyntactic analysis and historical contextualisation of fragmented and/or spatialised concepts of musical time as frequently conceived in postwar art music by such composers as Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Giacinto Scelsi and György Kurtág. A common objective found in most of these approaches is the drive towards an implicit destabilisation or even an open rejection of ‘objective’ musical time as represented by architectural formal metaphors or simplified ‘clock’ models. Cook's recent explorations into the temporality of musical performance suggest that the use of such metaphors, inherent in most established theories of musical form, has its complement in the history of performance styles, for it interlocks closely with literalist performance traditions embodied by Stravinsky's aesthetics of ‘execution’ (1947, p. 122) and most prominently promoted and disseminated by Nadia Boulanger (see Cook , pp. 219–23). Cook's study emphasises repeatedly, however, that (pre‐modernist) ‘rhetorical’ and (modernist) ‘structuralist’ or ‘literalist’ performance styles do not conform neatly to a coherent history of performance – a point also raised by other scholars of musical performance (Hinrichsen , pp. 36–7). Indeed, an enduring opposition to ‘literalist misunderstandings’ in the verbal interpretation and performance practice of postwar art music helps to explain the extent to which non‐linear, phenomenological or presentist time concepts were embraced by the musical avant‐garde (Utz and ). Thus, it is not as obvious as it may seem that recent avant‐garde music relies merely on literalist performance traditions. Conversely, the following analyses will provide ample evidence for Cook's claim that ‘rhetorical and structuralist approaches represent complementary possibilities for construing music as thought and action’ (2013, p. 129) rather than irreconcilable opposites which establish a linear historical causality.By the same token, however, it is clear that Cook's distinction between a performance‐oriented phenomenological approach that conceives music as time, as opposed to the structuralist idea of presenting a musical object in time (pp. 124–34), appears artificial when read against composition and performance practice. For one thing, the question of how a performer may suggest, support, subvert or combine different forms of temporal experience cannot be answered straightforwardly: composers’ and performers’ shaping of time and listeners’ experience of it do not necessarily correlate with one another, nor can they be reduced to simple aesthetic categories or quantitative data. Moreover, it may be maintained that the quantitative aspect of time (music in time) is, in the end, inextricably bound to the qualitative aspects of time experience (music as time), even if not in the sense of a simple correlation or reciprocity. It would be nearly impossible, for instance, to experience a sharp, regular beat as a manifestation of timelessness or to perform contemplative listening in a ‘chaotic’ montage setting such as those created by John Zorn's group Naked City. Apart from such obvious examples, of course, it is necessary to insist on an unrestricted freedom of association and imagination with regard to the experiences of musical temporality and time‐related expectation and retrospection. Musical expectancies in particular, a key area of time experience in and through music which has recently turned into a rapidly expanding field of research, are for the most part culturally generated or mediated. Deducing generalised psychological and formal trajectories from this prerequisite, however, reveals questionable tendencies towards an analytical standardisation of expectancy‐related time experience – as demonstrated, for example, by Michael Spitzer's insightful essay on the musical representation of fear in Schubert (2010; see Utz ). Given such moves towards (re‐)standardisation in the wake of psychologically informed analytical methods, the need to re‐emphasise the merits of performative analysis as outlined above appears to be a vital precondition of non‐essentialist analytical thought.In short, despite the many conceptual and methodological caveats inherent in an analytical incorporation of musical temporality, this subtle topic should not be disregarded; not only is it considered a key area of musical experience by composers, performers and listeners alike, but it also signifies a potential space in which diverging branches of musical scholarship and practice may be meaningfully interrelated – a task I shall undertake in the next three sections.Lachenmann's Pression and Three Archetypes of Musical TemporalityHelmut Lachenmann's work Pression has come to be much referenced in musicological writings because it seems most clearly and rigorously to epitomise the composer's influential idea of musique concrète instrumentale, in which sounds are experienced as the immediate results of their production rather than mediated by a historically loaded space of listening conventions and metaphorical meaning (see Lachenmann , p. 150 and , p. 308). One of the means invented to provoke this kind of ‘liberated perception’ is Lachenmann's complete redesign of musical notation (Ex. ), which famously avoids references to conventional staff notation in favour of a tabulature‐like designation of the performer's movements. This approach is largely retained in the two revised versions of the score, published in 2010 (handwritten) and 2012 (engraved), although they introduce a number of more conventional elements, notably bar lines, time signatures and expressive instructions. The focus on the performer and his or her body is also signalled by the work's subtitle ‘for a cellist’ (rather than ‘for cello’) and by Lachenmann's stipulation, in the preface to the 1972 edition, that the piece be played from memory so that the view of the performer onstage is not obscured by a music stand. In a literal sense, then, Lachenmann's body‐oriented concept of sound is rendered in performance, and the impression is enhanced that heard sounds are perceived as traces or imprints of the performer's movements. While body language and choreography have been shifted into the foreground in recent performance studies, including some of Pression (see Orning , pp. 22–4 and 2013, as well as Lessing and 2010), it is important to note that the piece was conceived in a post‐serial manner, with performance techniques treated rigorously as parameters of the music and subjected to a systematic elaboration. At the same time, it is crucial to understand the piece's sound world as an example of a politically motivated liberation of perception against the background of a wave of ‘critical composing’ emerging in Germany during the 1968 student movement (see the composer's remarks on his piece in Lachenmann and Brodsky ).1Ex.Lachenmann, Pression, first two systems in 1972 and 2012 versions. © 1972 by Musikverlage Hans Gerig, Köln, copyright assigned 1980 to Breitkopf & Härtel, Wiesbaden.Starting from a perception‐oriented approach to Pression’s sound categories and formal design, I developed a morphosyntactic analysis of this work in earlier studies (Utz and ), which have already referenced recordings and reconsidered earlier analyses of the piece. With regard to temporality or the experience of time, this earlier analysis suggested the interaction of three different sound‐time archetypes, which shall be re‐examined here for their impact on performance practice.Time as Space/Spatialised TimeA common analytical approach would be to identify the most salient events in the sound process of the work and relate them to one another in a hierarchical space where the most salient events form the top layer (Fig. ), a technique which understands the post‐tonal, largely unpitched sound structure as a ‘hierarchy of saliences’ (Lerdahl and Imberty ). Considering that large parts of the piece operate on a very low dynamic level, two events can be singled out as particularly salient: a continuous pressed bow section near the beginning of the work (crotchet 86), rendered fff throughout with the bow pressed on the strings close to the tailpiece on the wrapping of the strings, lasting ‘at least 60 seconds’, and a ‘distinct pitch’ section near the end on a D♭3 (crotchet 262), lasting ‘ca. ten seconds’, with dynamics increasing to and decreasing from ff. In addition, in the centre of the work we hear a long section of about 35 seconds dominated entirely by sounds produced through springing bow (saltando, crotchets 99–133). Here, the wood of the bow excites the A and C strings from below or the bow hair touches the frame of the bridge or the corpus. All other events in the piece may be related to these three phases, which form the two top hierarchical levels (see again Fig. ). For example, impulses within the opening glissandi (crotchets 13–35) as well as the final saltando impulse (crotchets 346–349) might be conceived as hints and echoes of the saltando in the centre of the piece; alternatively, the long sostenuto section (crotchets 180–255), in which a continuous soft ‘noise’ sound produced by muting the string with the left thumb and bowing close to the bridge is repeatedly unmuted, temporarily revealing distinct pitches, might be considered as a precursor of the distinct‐pitch section enacted immediately afterwards.1Lachenmann, Pression: ‘spatial’ perception modelIt has often been said that this kind of architectural‐hierarchical analysis fails to capture the way performers and listeners experience musical time. On the other hand, one can argue that our memory tends to spatialise events in time to some extent because otherwise events occurring during real‐time listening could not be meaningfully related to one another. Particularly in long‐term memory, spatialisation is vital to the process of ‘making sense’ (Snyder , pp. 14–15 and 216–17). Lachenmann's setting in Pression, where three salient sound events (the pressed bow, the saltando and the discrete pitch) emerge from an amorphous ground and are then established over longer time windows, lends the sound structure a particular morphological character, which facilitates this sort of large‐scale spatialisation in memory. The architectural model here can thus be considered not merely as a theoretical construction, but as a debatable model of the perception of large‐scale form.In order to support the perception of a spatialised time, the individuality of the different morphological events or states would have to be sharply distinguished from one another by the performer. Furthermore, a compression of time would facilitate the memory work to be performed by the listener. Thus a fast tempo and strong contrasts between the sound events (and in particular between noise and pitch) would enhance the spatial time model in performance.Transformative/Processual TimeA model orientated towards real‐time listening rather than towards the activation of long‐term memory might focus on what has been described as ‘categorical transformation’ within and between ‘sound families’ in Lachenmann's music (Neuwirth ). The composer was clearly conscious of this idea when composing Pression and the conceptually related string quartet Gran Torso (1970–1, revised 1976 and 1988): he stated that in the quartet ‘pitch and noise were not opposites, but constantly emerging from one another in different ways as variants of superordinate sound categories’ (Lachenmann , p. 227). In almost all recordings the pressed‐bow sound, which is supposed to suppress any manifestation of pitch, actually retains elements of clearly decodable pitch areas; conversely, the ‘distinct pitch section’ contains noise components, as the D♭3 here is actually split into two adjacent pitches, producing interfering beats and thus noise components. The most relevant sound document in this respect is Michael Bach's 1991 studio recording, in which the pressed‐bow section renders a clearly audible D♭2 which is further linked to other prominent occurrences of D♭ in the piece (Fig. ). Thus, the pressed‐bow and distinct‐pitch sections here correspond closely, even though this might be the result more of coincidence than of conscious planning; that ‘noise’ and ‘pitch’ do not function as opposites, however, also becomes obvious in other areas of Bach's recording where the pitch class of D♭ surfaces. This would suggest a perceptual approach that comprehends Pression as a constant and audacious variation on D♭, which is repeatedly distorted and blurred but always resurfaces. This model can also be applied beyond the domain of pitch: in fact, the entire piece might be perceived as a continuous transformation within and between four large‐scale areas (see again Fig. ), each dominated by a particular sound quality emerging from an amorphous ground: pressed bow (crotchets 1–98), saltando (crotchets 99–164) and discrete pitch (crotchets 165–280), with the fourth area (crotchets 281–349) leading the sound back to a very remote and soft plane, recapitulating, echo‐like, all three salient sound qualities heard earlier, in the manner of a coda (Jahn , pp. 44 and 51).2Lachenmann, Pression: ‘processual’ perception modelProcessual time could probably best be communicated in performance by presenting each sound event as part of a large transformative chain over the duration of the entire work. One image that comes to mind is the outworn metaphor of organic growth, which, though commonly rejected in key areas of new‐music discourse, still figures prominently in many performers’ conceptualization of time formation and rhetorical expressive gestures, although it might be termed differently, for example as ‘synthesis’ (Rink , p. 56). It appears that a slow tempo and a minimisation of contrasts would be adequate to enhance the often meticulously formed transitions between the different sound fields of Pression.Presentist Time/‘Moment’ TimeThe transformation model presupposes organic unity where the fragmentation and isolation of events might be a more suitable perceptual strategy. Indeed, the duration of the pressed‐bow section – at least 60 seconds, according to the score – is an invitation to embark on a ‘process of tactile discovery’ (Abtastprozess), to use the composer's favourite metaphor (see Lachenmann , pp. 77–8): to experience this sound in all its dimensions and its diverging inner processes without immediately demoting it to merely one of several events in a large‐scale structure or chain of events. The same mode of perception might be adequate for most of the other sections or ‘moments’ in the piece (Fig. ). This experience of sound presence might further be enhanced by empathising with the performer, of whom the sounds require the utmost bodily commitment, producing a form of energy which in turn has the potential to be transferred to a sensitive listener (see Lessing , p. 117).3Lachenmann, Pression: ‘presentist’ perception modelIn order to enhance the impression of discontinuity and fragmentation and allow each sound event or field to develop its proper quality and ‘proper time’ (Eigenzeit; see Mosch , p. 37), a high degree of contrast that sets events apart from one another will again be necessary. In contrast to the architectural model, however, a slow or irregular tempo would probably contribute to the impression that the individual events are isolated from one another rather than forming a continuous chain or set of points in an imaginary space. This impression could be further enhanced by the player's movements during live performance, for example by ‘freezing’ during the less dense areas between the salient events while energetically projecting the events themselves, thus amplifying their individuality. Of course, achieving a complete fragmentation of perception, the attainment of a ‘permanent presence’, is difficult, if not impossible; it is arguably unavoidable that, after temporarily ‘seizing the moment’, our memory becomes active again and starts building structures. A continuous interaction between the three perceptual strategies might therefore provide a more solid basis for a performative, perception‐oriented analysis.By labelling these three modes of time experience ‘archetypes’, I maintain that they can be multiply related to influential traditions in the history of music theory:The architectural model is of course inherent in the tradition of Formenlehre and emerged from discourses on the hierarchy of the senses around 1800, where the sense of sight, linked to Kant's ‘pure contemplation’ (reine Anschauung), was considered superior to imprecise hearing. Metaphors derived from architecture were closely linked to this superiority of the eye and had pervaded writings on music since at least the middle of the eighteenth century (see Utz , pp. 19–36). A prominent manifestation of this tradition is Schenker's concept of Fernhören (Schenker [1894] , p. 103; see also Furtwängler , pp. 201–4; Larson , pp. 115–16 and Cook , p. 52), which described the ideal situation of listening from an elevated point ‘beyond’ the musical work. As mentioned earlier, this vision‐dependent view of musical form was sustained by literalist performance traditions emerging as early as the 1920s.The transformation model can be linked to the tradition of musical energetics most prominently represented by Ernst Kurth's theory of musical forces but also by Schenker's theoretical model (see Spitzer , pp. 330–41), which demonstrates that it is ultimately not at all incompatible with the metaphor of architecture. To some extent and in a simplified formulation, we might see the interaction between architectural and process‐oriented models as analogous to the interaction of the perception of large‐scale musical form and real‐time musical perception.The idea of an ‘unlimited presence’ of individual moments naturally brings to mind Stockhausen's idea of ‘moment form’ (; see Utz , pp. 119–21), as elaborated into, among others, ‘moment time’ in Jonathan Kramer's The Time of Music (1988, pp. 50–2 and 207–8). This model assumes a basic discontinuity of time perception and is informed by techniques of twentieth‐century art and music such as montage, fragmentation and the ‘powderisation’ of musical syntax. This model of presentist listening also has precursors dating back at least to early nineteenth‐century Romantic listening concepts of hearing proposed by Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder, Clemens Brentano and Jean Paul, among others (see Utz , pp. 115–21).Which of these three models is closest to the dimension of the composer's various and changeable intention(s) and how have performers approached or combined them in the available recordings? To start with the third archetype: a ‘presence’ of the two pivotal events – pressed bow and distinct pitch – seems to be particularly enhanced by the composer's notation, as they are the only points in the piece where a continuous grid of sectional time markers is suspended for extended fermatas of 60 and 10 seconds respectively. The rest of the piece is organised by this grid throughout – except for a small number of (short) fermatas and two slight changes in pulse of merely local significance (poco rubato in crotchet 125 and poco più vivo in crotchets 287–288). The space between two markers in most cases equals one crotchet (sometimes also three or four crotchets) in a tempo of ‘ca. 66’ beats per minute; the score thus seems to suggest a clear pulse and a steady, rather fast tempo. However, the composer himself has repeatedly declared that the sounds in Pression have (or need) their ‘proper time’ (Eigenzeit), that performers should listen carefully to the sounds (‘den Klängen nachhören’; see Mosch , p. 37 n. 14) and even that the piece should be phrased in a rubato manner, similar to Schumann's Träumerei (Orning , p. 21). On many further occasions, Lachenmann has explained that the production of his ‘noise’ sounds requires the utmost attention to a particular form of ‘sound culture’ which has to be studied and cultivated with great care, in a way similar to traditional (classical) sound production (Lachenmann and Hermann ).Lachenmann's statements on performance present another case of the impact of rhetorical performance style, which seemingly had its peak in the decades around 1900. This bears a surprising resemblance to several paradoxes inherent in the relationship between analysis and performance described by Cook in the contexts of Schenker's theory of performance and the performance history of Webern's Piano Variations Op. 27. Although Schenker's thoughts on performance were deeply embedded in the rhetorical tradition of the nineteenth century, to a point where they became a poor fit with his modernist theoretical approach (Cook and , pp. 80–90), Webern's ideas about the performance of his Op. 27 drew on the practices of pre–World War I rhetorical performance rather than on the work's serial organisation (Cook , p. 130 and forthcoming). Cook uses such examples to advance his thesis that performance does not serve a reproduction of structure but rather semiotically references gestures, genres and styles of concurrent and earlier performance traditions as well as the repertoires with which they are associated (Cook , p. 125 and forthcoming). There may be many areas of contemporary avant‐garde music in which such seemingly outdated rhetorical performance traditions survive (see also the ‘Performing Time’ section below).Which solutions did the performers of Pression realise? In a first comparison of existing recordings, published in 2006, Ulrich Mosch noted that the metronomical duration of the piece as calculated from the score, taking into account fermatas and local tempo changes, is about 6′30″. The 2012 version of the score expands the total duration slightly (363 crotchets, rather than the 349 crotchets of the 1972 version). The calculated durations of both score versions, including fermatas and tempo changes, are about 6′31″ for the 1972 version and 6′47″ for the 2012 version. (The metronome marking of crotchet = ca. 66 is not included in the 2010 handwritten version but is re‐inserted in the 2012 engraved version of the score; the 2010 and 2012 versions of the score specify a duration of nine minutes, without further comments on the intended temporal design of a performance.) All recordings Mosch compared were conspicuously longer. Although Mosch conceded that this tendency was probably due to the ‘physical conditions of realisation’ of some sounds in Pression which simply required more time to be produced than the original tempo would offer, he remained sceptical about the composer's ‘liberal’ attitude towards tempo deviations (Mosch , pp. 37–8; Mosch was supported in this by other researchers during the discussion; see p. 38 n. 15) and argued that while the individual quality of the sounds was surprisingly consistent in most recordings, no performance was entirely satisfactory with regard to the necessity of placing ‘the right sound at the right time’ (p. 38).An expanded comparison of the fifteen recordings of Pression presently available – two LP, nine CD, one CD/DVD and three self‐produced live and studio recordings published on YouTube (see Appendix) – largely corroborates the results of Mosch's study. In order to allow a detailed comparison among recordings, I have divided the piece into four main sections, each consisting of a total of thirteen subsections (with subsections 1–5, 6–7, 8–11 and 12–13 forming the four main sections) according to the paradigmatic events and processes outlined above (Table ). This sectional analysis refines earlier synopses of the piece provided by Jahn (, pp. 42–9 and 52) and Neuwirth (, p. 87).Lachenmann, Pression: sectional analysis of 1972 and 2012 versions1972 version2012 versionSections/subsections*Crotchets*Crotchets per sectionDuration [sec.]*RatiosBars*Crotchets per sectionDuration [sec.]*RatiosInstrumental techniques (selective summary)111–58 1/1/1–2/4/557.666752.420.141–18362.166757.520.14– bowing on bridge; gliding fingertips along the strings; fingernail accents– gliding thumb on hair of the bow and fingertips on the wood of the bow– bowing on bridge259–71 2/4/6–3/1/913.208312.010.03183–2113.208312.010.03– bow grabbed with approx. half the hair length, moved vertically on strings372–85 3/2/1–3/3/314.125012.840.0322–2614.125012.840.03– bow pressed at the tailpiece4861.000060.000.15271.000060.000.15– bow pressed at the tailpiece / slapping fingerboard with open hand → wiping back and forth587–98 3/3/5–3/4/812.000010.910.0328–3112.000010.910.03– moving bow on flat surface of bridge2699–133 4/1/1–4/4/935.000033.820.0832–4438.375037.890.09– col legno saltando from beneath the strings + saltando on surface of the bridge + saltando on body above the bridge7134–164 5/1/1–5/3/931.000028.680.0745–5432.125029.700.07– scratching motion; slapping the body with the palm [combined with] bowing on tailpiece38165–179 5/3/10–5/4/915.333313.940.0455–5915.333313.940.03– bowing behind/near the wood of the bridge → bright noise9180–252 6/1/1–6/4/1972.333365.760.1860–8371.333365.350.16– bowing at ponticello; pressing the thumb of the left hand against the string; lifting thumb to create pitched sound of open string → flautando/pinching the string between thumb and index finger10253–268 7/1/1–7/1/1816.333423.940.0584–8816.333424.940.06– arrival at open string IV (A♭1); beating between microtonal variants of D♭3 → unison; glissando al pont11269–281 7/2/1–7/3/112.875011.700.0389–9112.875011.700.03– echo‐like recapitulation of sec. 9 (string II, F3)412282–325 7/3/2–8/2/644.125042.110.1092–10644.125040.110.10– sharp jerk (quasi whistle)/saltando; fingertips along the strings (left hand without bow)/legno saltando/legno battuto [combined]13326–349 8/2/7–8/3/1524.000022.820.06107–11630.000030.270.07– fingertips along the strings; plucking strings/buzzing resonance by stopping strings with wood of the bow; wiping with wood of the bow; Bartók pizzicato + saltandoTotal349390.951.00363407.181.00*The sections in the 1972 version (published by Breitkopf & Härtel in 1980, HG 865) are indicated by page number/staff system/crotchet and by consequentially numbered crotchets. The counting of crotchets follows the analysis in Jahn (, pp. 44–6), where the events 3/3/4 and 7/1/10 are counted as only one crotchet each (in the second instance, Lachenmann actually notates a semibreve with fermata in the staff system but three crotchets in the ‘timeline’). In one instance Jahn's indications were corrected (the ‘bar’ 6/4/7–6/4/10 features four crotchets, but Jahn only counts three [crotchets 240–242]; possibly this is due to a printing error, because in the 2012 edition the analogous passage, bar 80, indeed features only three crotchets). The sections in the 2012 version (Edition Breitkopf 9221) have been indicated by bar numbers and beats. The durations in both versions have been calculated assuming an exact duration of MM = 66 with fermatas and prescribed temporary changes in tempo included in the calculation.Fig. shows the durations of all fifteen recordings compared to both versions of the score. The average duration of these recordings is 8′27″, almost two minutes longer than the durations specified in the score versions. Although statistically the deviations are fairly constant over the four main sections or fields of the piece (both when compared to the score and among the performers), a more detailed comparison of the durations of all thirteen subsections (Fig. ) shows how strong the organisation of time differs among performers. The centre of the pressed‐bow section (subsection 4, crotchet 86), at least 60 seconds according to both versions of the score, ranges between 27 and 81 seconds (average: 58 seconds); the saltando section (subsection 6, crotchets 99–133), which requires particular care in performance (34 or 38 seconds, according to the scores) and for which Mosch's reflection about the additional time required to produce the sounds may be most convincing, ranges between 37 and 59 seconds and on the majority of recordings is considerably greater than the prescribed duration (average: 51 seconds); in the longest subsection of the piece, the ‘morsing’ area (subsection 9, crotchets 180–255), which stages the slow emancipation of pitch from noise, performers’ time also differs strongly (63–102 seconds; average: 81 seconds), although a third of the performances (five out of fifteen) are faster than or almost equal (63–67 seconds) to the prescribed duration (66/65 seconds), owing probably to the clearer rhythmic profile of this subsection and the ternary metre alluded to in the 1972 version by dotted bar lines.4aLachenmann, Pression: comparison of 15 recordings (durations; four large sections)4bLachenmann, Pression: comparison of 15 recordings (durations; 13 subsections)A more qualified comparison is gained when the ratios of performers’ deviations from notated time are compared (Fig. ). The deviation of the total durations ranges between 6% (Stromberg's 2013 recording) and 45% (Lessing's of 2005). What is more important, however, is the standard deviation among the deviation ratios of the thirteen subsections for each performer (ranging between 17% and 49%), which tells us how constant the overall tempo is kept and to which degree the proportions between the sections of the score were preserved in performance even where the chosen tempo is considerably slower than that indicated. Considering both values, the recordings of Kasper in 2009, Kooistra in 1992, Bach in 1989 and 1991, Grimmer in 1991 and Fels in 1995 emerge as the most consistent, though both Fels and Bach, in his 1989 recording, deviate from the score considerably in terms of total duration.5Lachenmann, Pression: comparison of 15 recordings (ratios of deviation from score; unnumbered sections are ≤15% deviation); the values in braces indicate the ratio of deviation from the score duration and the standard deviation between the subsections of a performance.Returning to the three domains of time experience derived from our morphosyntactic analysis, we now may look at the degree of contrast between the events and at the vividness with which the sounds’ individuality is rendered. In a session of close listening I chose three recordings in which one of the time‐experience domains appears to predominate.Spatialised TimeMichael Kasper's recording definitely follows the score most literally in terms both of duration and of performing ‘the right sound at the right time’. The contrasts between the different sound qualities are clear‐cut. This also means that the sectional form is rendered quite transparent, for example by a very pronounced acoustic marker on the ‘whistle’ accent which serves as a signal of the beginning of the coda (crotchet 281). The recording fulfils the requirements of spatialised time not least by closely following all major details of the score, including the temporal design, which is in tune with Kasper's (slightly disillusioned) stance that the ‘objective tone’ in new‐music repertoire ‘de‐personalises and de‐mystifies what is played. The act of interpretation follows the act of composition. There is no place for egomaniac self‐aggrandisement’ (Kasper , p. 16).This statement is at odds not only with Lachenmann's insistence on a rhetorical performance tradition, but also with the unsurpassed flow of Kasper's recording, which is probably the result of the cellist's long experience with the piece. Toying with his presumably ‘conservative’ perspective, Kasper – who has been the cellist of the Ensemble Modern for more than three decades – says that this experience leads him to associate Pression’s sounds with ‘motifs or themes from a sonata by Brahms or Beethoven’ and adds dryly: ‘I've no idea whether this benefits the piece or not. “Pression” must retain its sting’ (2009, p. 17).Processual TimeIn several instances Kasper's performance seems a little too straightforward: for example, in the long ‘morsing’ subsection (subsection 9), which slowly introduces pitched sounds, he articulates distinct pitches without making audible the laborious manner in which they are produced (the left thumb, muting the bowed string from below, is temporarily removed, while the bow excites the string very close to or on the bridge); this is consistent with the architectonic model, which emphasises the boundary between noise and pitch. Michael Bach's 1991 recording, by contrast, makes the technical difficulty of this passage clearly audible: each ‘pitched’ tone sounds different, and each occupies a different position on the gradual scale between noise and pitch. In many other respects, as outlined earlier, Bach's recording approaches the transformative time model: it keeps the purely amorphous passages such as the first subsection rather short, while prolonging the areas of transition (subsections 5, 7 and 11, as well as subsection 13, the final one; see again Figs and ). His pressed sound is exciting, always at the edge of rupture, but held together by the basic sonority of D♭.Not unlike Kasper, Bach felt the need to issue a witty statement about his performance of Pression in the CD booklet suggesting a desire to overcome the composer's somewhat conventional reference to a ‘traditional sequence of tension and development’ (Bach ). This is clearly audible in the risk Bach takes in producing each sound. However, the impression of a transformative thread running through the entire performance prevails, not least owing to sensitive, though not totally coherent, timing decisions.Presentist TimeTo my ear, two recordings best represent the idea of discontinuous presence: Walter Grimmer's of 1991 and Taco Kooistra's from the following year. Grimmer's use of gut strings lends his performance the utmost intensity but somehow greys out the overall timbre. Kooistra develops a similar intensity, and his interpretation of the pressed‐bow section is probably the most adventurous and least ‘classicist’ of all the recordings. Strong contrasts and an irregular though not exceptionally deviant timing may further contribute to the impression of exclusive ‘moments’. This, however, is clearly incompatible with Kooistra's own comments about the work, which – like the composer's – emphasise its classical dimensions:[W]hen I create a sort of white noise in Pression […] this results in a range of colour differences that is just as wide as in Bach's or Beethoven's music; only the resulting colours are different from theirs. […] Because the audience doesn't know much about Lachenmann's music […] there will not be the same amount of discussion about the colour differences within the ‘white noise’ sound as there will be in the case of the one note in the Bach suite; but the issue is the same. Neither do I believe that there is an essential difference between the shape of Lachenmann's piece and that of a Beethoven sonata. […] Beethoven shaped his story into a sonata form and Lachenmann tells a story about colour that ends in one note. In both cases, the result is music; it still concerns emotion and the building or lessening of tension. (Kooistra , pp. 4–5)Of course, the listener has many additional options. She might choose to focus on a single sound in the Kasper recording, losing herself in the individual sound's topology without following the piece's architecture. Or she might listen to Kooistra's recording – probably in tune with the performer's intention – as a linear narrative. However, the substantial, even amazing differences between the recordings should not be underestimated. What we hear in the recordings of Pression is not one piece of music but fifteen different pieces. Arguably, this is not due to the tabulature‐like notation, since the individual sounds are, as already observed by Mosch, rendered with a high degree of consistency in most recordings. In fact, it seems that most performance effects contributing to the different kinds of performed and experienced temporality discussed above are the results of conscious decisions by the performers to communicate an inherent time quality of the music, clearly aiming beyond a mere execution or reproduction of the notation.In any case, the composer might not be too happy with this discussion of implicit temporal dimensions in his music. Although he has declared the experience of presence as a ‘key utopia’ of his composing (Lachenmann ; see Utz ), which led, among other things, to the composition of his late orchestral piece NUN (‘Now’, 1999–2002), he is outspoken in his criticism of attributed temporality in music:I don't think in […] categories [such as a spatial, temporal or teleological sense of time in my music]. And I'm sceptical towards such semi‐philosophical terms. Is the sense of time in the music of Webern or Bach more spatial, or more temporal or teleological? I really don't know, and I don't want any music to be put in some predefined or pre‐codified terminological category. I prefer to create or to be exposed to an auditory situation or process in which those categories will be forgotten. When experiencing an earthquake or a thunderstorm, when surrounded by mountains or looking into the waves of the sea, or just studying the structure of the bark on an old tree, such categories have no place. (Lachenmann and Heathcote , p. 345)Xenakis's Nomos Alpha: ‘Outside’ and ‘Inside’ TimeXenakis's Nomos Alpha has become not only a classic of the solo cello repertoire but also one of the composer's best‐known and most‐discussed works, probably not least because Xenakis himself generously offered a detailed analysis of its mathematically inspired structure. In a chapter of his book Formalized Music, he discerns an (unordered) ‘organization outside‐time’, designating systematically designed collections of musical material, and an (ordered) ‘organization in‐time’, designating procedures which arrange this material in a temporal sequence (1992, pp. 219–36). Despite complex mathematical procedures of sieve theory and group theory involved in the compositional process of Nomos Alpha, the result appears not exceptionally complex but indeed quite transparent: ever‐changing permutations of eight ‘macroscopic’ sonic complexes (S) are mapped to continuously changing durations, pitch structures, densities and dynamics in a post‐serial manner. The 24 sections of the piece constitute six principal parts of four sections each, with every fourth section (i.e. the final section of each part) functioning as a kind of ritornello (DeLio and Peck , pp. 73–81). While the eighteen ‘strophic’ sections reflect the main compositional procedure through a montage‐like change between clearly distinct (though often internally related) sound events (eight events are permutated in each section), the ritornellos reduce this complexity considerably by limiting the musical fabric to long sustained notes, creating large‐scale markers that facilitate the overall orientation during the listening process. A morphosyntactic analysis may aim to interpret the syntactic sense created by the mathematically construed order of the events and the interaction of continuous and discontinuous temporality suggested by Xenakis's compositional method. Robert W. Peck has prominently included in his temporality‐orientated analysis a discussion of the consequences of the piece's structure for performers (2003, pp. 105–11), which, however, since it follows Wallace Berry's normative theory of performance (1989) quite closely and does not consult any existing recording of the work, confines itself to relatively ‘abstract’ suggestions of how performers might – or should – project specific time modes in performance, thus basically cementing the ‘page‐to‐stage’ approach severely criticised by recent musical performance studies (see Cook , pp. 33–55).Considering the first two sections of the work and comparing six available recordings will help sort out the performer's strategies. These two sections make the montage‐ or kaleidoscope‐like character of the music very obvious (Ex. ). This impression is achieved mainly by compositionally isolating the events from one another through rests or caesuras and contrasting dynamics, length, performance techniques and register, all of which result from the post‐serial structure. On the other hand, the fast tempo leads to a close affiliation of the individual events, so that eventually many parts may be perceived as a kind of expanded phrase or cadence. This might be said of the first three events in bars 1–7, for example: while the first two events create tension by means of the virtuosic tremolo and the contrasting dynamics, the isolated pizzicato in bar 7 (the third event) is easily perceived as the goal of this short ‘development’ while also acting as a bridge to the following event chain. Also, many cross‐references between analogous individual events in section 1 (bars 1–15) and section 2 (bars 16–30) can be perceived quite easily (compare, for example, S5 in bars 13–14 and bar 16 or S8 in bars 14–15 and bars 19–21), while the analogy between other pairs remains mainly conceptual (for example, the short duration of the impulse of S3 in bar 30 makes it seem closer related to S1 in bar 7 than to S3 in bars 3–6). In total, as analysed by Peck following Kramer's categories of musical time, this basic structure might either suggest a radical discontinuity of individual ‘moments’ or, owing to basic cross‐referencing within and between sections, a ‘nondirectional linear time’, although directional perception might be inferred repeatedly on a microstructral level (2003, pp. 76–81 and 105–111).2Ex.Xenakis, Nomos Alpha: score, bars 1–30, with sonic complexes marked and numbered events (after DeLio , p. 79). © 1967 by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd.The performer thus might choose either to accentuate the aspect of discontinuity or disruption (similar to the presentist time model in Pression) or to establish continuities between the isolated events (as in the transformative time model in Lachenmann's work). While the first mode would suggest again a focus on caesuras, possibly expanding them in a rhetorical manner and enhancing contrast by varying the tempo and dynamics in each section, the continuity‐orientated performer would probably aim to maintain a strict tempo, or at least the ratio between the individual event durations. The recordings show a broad spectrum of tempi and durations of this relatively short section (48 seconds, according to the score), ranging between 53 and 79 seconds (Fig. ). Again, the deviation ratios (Fig. ) are helpful for filtering out the recordings with the most consistent durations, in this case Pierre Strauch's and Roham de Saram's. Close listening leads one to judge Saram's 1991 recording to be the most coherent, since it maintains the sound quality and timbre established at the beginning and avoids strong contrasts; this correlates with the performer's pragmatic perspective on the piece (Saram ). In Strauch's recordings, the same dynamics may be projected in significantly different degrees of loudness (compare events 14 and 15, or 6, 7 and 8); both recordings tend to shorten silences and thus reduce the impression of discontinuity. No performer observes the full measure of the rests; this is particularly the case in the 2010 recording of Arne Deforce, who evidently decided to elaborate the quality of each single event in disregard of the rhythmic and tempo instructions in the score (note his highly disproportionate deviation ratios, shown in Fig. ). This not only leads to an overall duration which, at 19′10″, is about eight and a half minutes longer than that prescribed by the score (10′42″) and six and a half minutes longer than the shortest recording (Strauch's, which comes in at 12′33″), but also allows him simply to reduce the tempo drastically where a literal interpretation of the score would be technically impossible. His metaphorical interpretation of Nomos Alpha as a process of expanding and shrinking sound, as well as other, somewhat cryptic remarks about the piece, might therefore be decoded as support of a certain performer's independence from the notated structure:6aXenakis, Nomos Alpha: comparison of six recordings (duration of events 1–16 = sections 1–2 / bars 1–30)6bXenakis, Nomos Alpha: comparison of six recordings (deviation ratios of events 1–16); the values in braces indicate the ratio of deviation from the score duration and the standard deviation between the subsections of a performance. The square brackets on top indicate sections 1 and 2.Nomos Alpha is moving architecture of sound. A musical space in which structures expand into impressive sound complexes or shrink to the concentrated force of a single tone. (Deforce , p. 82, my translation)[T]hat which can be notated, demarcates the playable and thereby the unplayable. The notation in the score renders legible that which is not audible and the performance renders audible that which is not playable in the score. […] Reading and performance of the music is the art of tracing lines, punctuating, crossing and going beyond. […] The bringing to life of sound. That is what matters. Its energy and infinite difference. Between the strings and the bow, not unity but multiplicity. Between body and sound, not the performance but a plurality of performances! (Deforce , pp. 6–7)Section 1 is particularly interesting with respect to literal performance, since its first two events contain ‘utopian’ notation that, owing to physical limitations, cannot be reproduced literally at the designated tempo: the first event (bars 1–3) would require 45 pizzicato impulses with a speed of ten impulses per second (Xenakis insisted on a conventional ‘non tremolando’ pizzicato playing here), while the second event (bars 3–6) would require a struck col legno at double speed (88 impulses with twenty impulses per second). Fig. compares the solution to this challenge put forward in four out of six recordings. As expected, Deforce renders the highest number of desired impulses in both events, although his employment of ‘tremolando’ pizzicato in fact yields 73 instead of 45 impulses in the first event, amounting to the double duration, while the second event is expanded to almost triple its duration. Saram's solution is the most irregular here: he obviously decided to keep the timing in event 1 while observing the number of impulses in event 2. This results in a distortion of the ratio between these two events, which should have almost the same length, according to the score. Despite these inconsistencies, Saram's and Deforce's recordings present, to my ear, the most convincing solutions to this tricky beginning, since the intensity and speed of impulses arguably are the key features of these two events, rendering the impression of virtuosity most poignantly. The compromises chosen in the other recordings are unsatisfactory: they either keep the desired duration, accepting a considerable lack of density, or keep the number of impulses at a rather slow speed, expanding the events disproportionally.7Xenakis, Nomos Alpha: comparison of three recordings (‘micro‐analysis’ of events 1 + 2)As tentatively discussed above, serial and post‐serial music still has to confront a decades‐long misunderstanding about its presumably authoritarian conception of literalist performance practice, seemingly prolonging Stravinsky's aesthetics of ‘execution’ into the late twentieth and early twenty‐first century (see the ‘Time as Space/Spatialised Time’ section above). Although Lachenmann demonstrated that post‐serial structure and rhetorical performance practice might not rule each other out, Xenakis was quite explicit about the authoritative impact of his notation while also acknowledging ‘utopian’ elements in his scores that cannot be rendered literally in performance:‘My works are to be performed according to the score, in the required tempo, in an accurate manner. […] It is very difficult, but sometimes they succeed. I do take into account the physical limitations of performers […] but I also take into account the fact that what is limitation today may not be so tomorrow. […] In order for the artist to master the technical requirements he has to master himself. Technique is not only a question of muscles, but also of nerves. In music the human body and the human brain can unite in a fantastic, immense harmony. No other art demands or makes possible that totality. The artist can live during a performance in an absolute way. He can be forceful and subtle, very complex or very simple, he can use his brain to translate an instant into sound but he can encompass the whole thing with it also. Why shouldn't I give him the joy of triumph – triumph that he can surpass his own capabilities?’ (Varga , pp. 65–6)Ferneyhough's Time and Motion Study II: Complexity, Energy, ‘Fidelity’The topos of ‘transcendence’, of ‘liberation’ from established modes of both performance and perception conventions, is crucial to the three works discussed here, though it is approached through radically different compositional and notational means. While Lachenmann's score places a new emphasis on the performer's movements, which are prescribed in a most meticulous and authoritarian manner, Xenakis seems to use notation almost as a negligible convention for the temporal placement of sound events (as is obvious from his adaption of a 2/2 metrical grid throughout the piece). The contrasting tendency towards an intentional overdetermination of written notation has been a distinctive criterion for composers associated with (new) complexity since the 1970s, particularly represented by Brian Ferneyhough's scores. This overdetermination, however, did not necessarily imply that the ideal of an ‘execution’ or ‘reproduction’ of notation was further cemented by ‘complexity’ composers. Somewhat conversely, Ferneyhough has argued that notational complexity in his scores is linked to the principle that ‘performers are no longer expected to function solely as optimally efficient reproducers of imagined sounds; they are also themselves “resonators” in and through which the initial impetus provided by the score is amplified and modulated in the most varied ways imaginable’ (, p. 100). Of course, this does not mean that the score might be taken as a pretext for mere improvisation: according to Ferneyhough, the criteria for an adequate musical performance – with ‘no difference […] between Haydn and Xenakis’ – lie in ‘the extent to which the performer is technically and spiritually able to recognise and embody the demands of fidelity (NOT “exactitude”!)’ (1998d, p. 71).In Time and Motion Study II (1973–6) for solo cello and electronics, the relationship of performer and notation is in many respects placed at the centre of attention. The piece is inspired by Antonin Artaud's ‘Theatre of Cruelty’ (see Fitch , pp. 203 and 211 and Archbold, Heyde and Still , 13:50–18:00), and in it the body of the performer is conceived as the protagonist of the sound‐producing media: all sorts of machines (microphones, loudspeakers, cables, tape recorders and live electronic equipment) are attached to or surround the performer in a kind of ‘punitive cage’ (Ferneyhough , p. 394) alluded to in the withdrawn subtitle of the work, ‘electric chair music’. According to Lois Fitch,a […] ‘subjective obscuration’ obtains in the cellist's relationship to the notation alone, particularly the physical demands that must be met in order to render the piece satisfactorily. The performer's feet, throat, palms, nails and various parts of the fingers are called upon, and the cello itself becomes an array of exotic instruments, including guitar, mandolin, zarb [a kind of drum] and piano’. (2013, p. 210)The socio‐political impact of the work, established by its title's reference to efficiency in industrial engineering, is further emphasised by the composer, who suggests an association of the solo cellist with ‘the self‐expression of the individual’ while the continuously interfering loops of past events rendered by the electronic set‐up symbolise the ‘distorting mirror of collectivity (continually frustrating the desire of the performer to speak freely)’. The composer thus aims to shed ‘light on the relationship […] between the individual and the public spheres of experience’ (Ferneyhough , p. 108).With regard to temporality, Ferneyhough follows the established avant‐garde topos of an ‘abolition of linear temporal experience’ (1998a, p. 107) by what he called ‘interruptive polyphony’ or ‘interference form’ (Feller , p. 257), most recently radicalised to a ‘sausage‐slicer technique’ (Ferneyhough and Archbold , p. 49) in which the score is put together from a large number of short fragments in shuffled order. While this is reminiscent of Xenakis's post‐serial montage technique, the largely incessant density of Ferneyhough's music makes it much harder to perceive the music as discontinuous. This is particularly true for Time and Motion Study II, where the electronic feedback loops over long periods obscure the performed actions to a considerable extent, leaving only very few caesuras or regions of low density as large‐scale ‘spatial’ markers. Thus neither a large‐scale architecture nor an isolation of ‘moments’ (despite the composer's insistence on discontinuity) seems to render an adequate analytical approach here. The processual model, in contrast, seems in tune with the fact that the electronics replay events that have already been performed, which contributes to an impression of permanent transition.Although it is extremely hard to isolate single events in this ‘stream of consciousness’, the beginning and ending of the piece conform to their conventional framing function by reducing complexity and putting the focus on the cellist. Not unlike the beginning of Xenakis's piece, the first nine bars (according to my analysis) establish a series of eighteen contrasting events, cued by salient attacks and impulses (Ex. ). All three professional recordings of the piece render the temporal and proportional order of these events with remarkable consistency, considering the notational challenges involved (Fig. ). The ‘extremely nervous’ character indicated in the beginning and obviously anticipating the piece's narrative of the ‘oppressed individual’ is arguably best rendered in the most recent recording by Neil Heyde () which keeps the timing most consistent while (similarly to Strauch's Xenakis recording) some events are rendered rather hastily (event 18, for example, is virtually non‐existent in his performance, while both Taube's 1977 recording and Gauwerky's from 1988 focus on this event as a ‘cadential’ marker concluding the first section of the work).3Ex.Ferneyhough, Time and Motion Study II: bars 1–10, indication of 18 events in bars 1–9, live electronic part omitted. © 1978 by Hinrichsen Edition Peters Edition Ltd. London.8Ferneyhough, Time and Motion Study II: beginning; events 1–18 (bars 1–9), comparison of 3 recordings (durations)In a video documentary, Neil Heyde defends the composer's notation, saying that alternative solutions to score the sound events, such as semi‐improvisational indications on a time scale, would not ‘necessarily keep challenging’ him to work harder; and he particularly highlights the ‘helpfulness’ of poetic instructions in the score such as ‘sudden extremes of stillness and mobility, like certain reptiles and insects (i.e., praying mantis)’. The composer supplements this by saying that today's ‘highly intelligent performers’ are no longer content to play ‘what is in front of them or what someone else thinks is in front of them […], entering into this much more organic confrontation between […] poetic imaginaries and the practice of the music’ (Archbold, Heyde and Still , 9:10–13:00).Performing TimeThe integration of quantitative and qualitative performance studies into morphosyntactic analysis might be considered a promising field in current music research so long as it avoids the one‐sidedness potentially inherent in all the subdisciplines involved: structural analysis, music psychology, historical and empirical research, performance practice. A highly complex phenomenon such as the performance and experience of musical temporality cannot be adequately grasped by either of these subdisciplines alone but requires forms of mutual dialogue between methodological traditions. The studies offered here propose ways in which such a dialogue may become fruitful.The analyses above may also help to contextualise and scrutinise a number of decisions that musical performers have to make with respect to composed, performed and perceived temporality, four of which can be summarised here.On a basic level, the performer must decide whether to render the ‘time of music’ as represented by the rhythmical‐metrical structure of the piece literally or whether elements of a rhetorical performance style should be (consciously or spontaneously) incorporated even when this is not indicated by tempo changes in the score: a general rubato, particular tempo decreases to mark the beginning and/or end of phrases or sections, perhaps the deliberate expansion or shortening of rests, and so on. It is evident that these decisions are particularly dependent on larger and often historically ‘loaded’ performance traditions.In cases where a performer decides not to observe a prescribed tempo, should the ratios between events and sections be preserved and thus the alternative tempo be kept more or less strictly throughout, or should tempo changes that are not indicated be allowed or perhaps even emphasised in order to render the impression of discontinuity?Should the individuality of musical events in general be stressed by attributing particular timing, timbre, dynamics or performance movements to each event group or ‘sound family’, or should the performer aim to minimise contrasts by understanding all individual events as parts of a large transformation process?What degree of precision should be devoted to the performance of events or sections that are obviously (partly) ‘conceptual’ or (consciously) ‘utopian’? Should precision of pitch/rhythm be superior or subordinate to the overall temporal order?It is obvious from the preceding discussion that no straightforward or generalised answers to these questions can be provided and that each combination of answers is going to yield different concepts of temporal experience such as those summarised above as spatial time, processual time and presentist time – or, most likely, a sort of interaction between these three categories. Obviously, the solutions found by individual performers rarely involve rigorous structuralist analytical activity but rather reflect many of culturally informed decisions, a not inconsiderable number of which might be enacted spontaneously only during a particular live or recorded performance. Of course, these decisions are not made in vacuo but rather are indebted to performance traditions, some of which today are still ‘lurking in the darker corners of the conservatories’ (Ferneyhough , p. 4). However, many of them are more recent in origin and are part of an oral transmission in the field of contemporary‐music performance practice that is still poorly documented and presents an obvious desideratum for future research.Seen from this angle, it is clear that all three discussed scores represent the musical avant‐garde's criticism of unreflective performance practices very decidedly, since they provoke the cellist to reconsider or even reinvent every single movement and sound as well as the way they are communicated to an audience. However, the case studies have also made it apparent that a prominent type of convention in performance, which is aptly summarised if perhaps overgeneralised in Cook's term ‘rhetorical performance’, nevertheless remains vital to both composers’ and performers’ imagination of sound time from the 1960s until the present day. This is true not only for the widespread remnants of rhetorical performance surviving in the narrower field of new‐music performance practice, but also for the idea, indebted to nineteenth‐century aesthetics, that virtuosity ‘transcends’ musical experience beyond established perceptual constraints.Working out performance‐sensitive analyses thus should not lead to misconceptions about a performance‐related or perceptual methodological positivism. To reduce musical experience to fragmentary real‐time listening, to the bodily experience of performed sound or to the energy produced during performances would turn the necessary amendments which the performative turn has made to established musicological practices into an impoverishment. More than a decade ago Nicholas Cook postulated that musical works should be regarded as both ‘frameworks for a performance culture’ and as ‘objects of contemplation or critical reflection’ (2005, [para. 24]). The implications of compositional structure on performance and perception cannot be limited to what is performable or perceivable, since this would imply a normative understanding of what can be performed or perceived (a criticism of the musical avant‐garde based on alleged ‘cognitive constraints’, as formulated in Lerdahl , has been refuted so often and so convincingly that it seems unnecessary to return to it here at length; see especially Cook , pp. 241–5). It is the marked impetus of liberation from established modes of perception and performance, a trope deeply embedded in musical modernity, which the three works by Lachenmann, Xenakis and Ferneyhough discussed above share. Their act‐ and perception‐oriented composing might be seen not so much as a naive adherence to a modernist concept of technical progress, but as an insistent reminder that our senses are acting and evolving within an unlimited universe of musical sound time that composers, performers and listeners are constantly reconfiguring.AppendixRecordings AnalysedName of performer, year recorded, publisher and year of release (where applicable), total duration and URL of performance (where available)a.Lachenmann, Pression1.Werner Taube, 1971 (Edition RZ, 1990), 8′20″2.Michael Bach, 1989 (Edition RZ, 1990), 9′16″3.Michael Bach, 1991 (CPO, 1992), 8′39″4.Walter Grimmer, 1991 (Col Legno, 1994), 8′17″5.Taco Kooistra, (Attacca Babel, 1992), 7′52″6.Pierre Strauch, 1993 (Accord 1993), 8′37″7.Lucas Fels, 1995 (Montaigne, 1995), 9′21″8.Benjamin Carat, 1998 (GRAME, 1998), 8′04″9.Wolfgang Lessing, 2005 (Wergo, 2008), 9′28″10.Martín Devoto, 2008 (BlueArt, 2008), 8′45″11.Michael M. Kasper, (Ensemble Modern, 2009), 7′35″12.Jonathan Gotlibovich, 2011 (live recording, Haifa, 29 March 2011), 7′23″, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep6joCRmWxg13.Mykhailo Babych, 2012 (live recording, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, 8 June 2012), 8′57″, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug1iahj82ok14.Lauren Radnofsky, 2012 (Mode Records, 2012), 9′07″15.David Stromberg, 2013 (studio video recording), 7′09″, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7Gzrake8nIb.Xenakis, Nomos Alpha1.Pierre Penassou, 1967 (CVC LP, 1968; EMI CD, 2010), 17′57″2.Siegfried Palm, 1974 (Deutsche Grammophon LP, 1975; CD, 2002), 14′25″3.Pierre Strauch, 1990 (Erato, 1992), 12′33″4.Rohan de Saram, 1991 (Montaigne, 1992), 15′26″5.Arne Deforce, 2010 (Aeon, 2011), 19′10″6.Martina Schucan, 2011 (live recording, Zürich, 27 May 2011), 15′20″, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EN5qpvAG0_I, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwUs4EPJAIkc.Ferneyhough, Time and Motion Study II1.Werner Taube; Thomas Kessler, Dieter Mack, live electronics, 1977 (Musicaphon LP, 1978), 22′18″2.Friedrich Gauwerky, 1998 (Etcetera, 1998), 22′32″3.Neil Heyde; Paul Archbold, live electronics, 2007, iTunesU/youtube/DVD (Optic Nerve [DVD] 2007), 21′50″, http://deimos3.apple.com/WebObjects/Core.woa/Feed/sas.ac.uk-dz.24603997519.024603997521, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sykB4znEk2QNOTESThis essay is an expanded version of a paper presented at the Eighth European Conference on Music Analysis held in Leuven, Belgium, in September 2014. I am grateful for advice received from Oscar Bandtlow, Nicholas Cook, Ellen Fallowfield and Lukas Haselböck, and for financial support for my research from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): P 24069‐G21.1.The method has been elaborated in a series of publications, including Utz (), (), (), (), () and (forthcoming).2.The first edition, originally published in 1972 by the editor Hans Gerig (Cologne), was reissued by Breitkopf & Härtel in 1980 (HG 865); the revised edition was published by Breitkopf & Härtel first as a handwritten autograph dated ‘6. März 2010’ at the end of the score and ‘Juli 2010’ in the performance instructions (here marked as ‘preliminary version’), then, in 2012, in a computer‐engraved version (Edition Breitkopf 9221). In terms of note values, the 2012 edition adds fourteen crotchets, resulting in a total of 363 crotchets (see Table ); in general, the musical structure is preserved in the 2012 edition, including most fermatas and the few isolated remarks referring to the temporal organisation. Detailed comparisons of the different versions are provided in Orning (), Lessing () and particularly Orning (). My analysis will refer to the 1972 edition; events in the score are localised by crotchets, counted from the beginning, following and slightly correcting the procedure in Jahn's analysis (1988, pp. 44–6 and Utz 2013b, p. 12 n. 4; see also Table ). References to the 2012 version are given in bar numbers (see also Orning ).3.To date no detailed study introduces the compositional process which resulted in Pression. Though Mosch has remarked on the systematic treatment of performance techniques in this piece (2006, p. 28), all that can been said so far is that Pression is not, like most other works from this period, based on the complex post‐serial systematic of Lachenmann's ‘structural net’ (Strukturnetz) (see Cavallotti , p. 79), a system first developed during the early 1960s that the composer has since employed continually.4.Earlier analyses were published in Jahn (); Mosch (); Lessing (), () and () and Neuwirth (). Performance is discussed in detail in Mosch (), Lessing ( and 2010) and Orning () and (); Orning is a Norwegian scholar and cellist.5.‘Ton und Geräusch waren keine Gegensätze, sondern gingen als Varianten übergeordneter Klangkategorien immer wieder auf andere Weise auseinander hervor’ (Lachenmann , p. 227).6.This intention cannot be directly inferred either from the score or from Lachenmann's comments on Pression, but it can be tentatively transferred from remarks in the cello part of his string quartet Gran Torso (see Hilberg ).7.‘The success of a performance will be measured by oneself and one's audience not so much by its analytical rigour, historical fidelity or even technical accuracy (at least in some circles) as by the degree to which “resonance” is achieved in drawing together the constituent elements into something greater than the sum of those parts, into a musically cogent and coherent synthesis’ (Rink , p. 56).8.Here Lachenmann seemed to be referring to the phrasing of the entire piece. Orning (, p. 103) provides a more specific statement about the col legno saltando section (crotchets 99–133), about which the composer referred ‘to the performance practice of Schumann and Schubert, which encourages rubato phrasings in order to shape the music’. The indication ‘poco rubato’ in this section (crotchet 125 in the 1972 version; bar 40 – two bars earlier – in the 2012 version) thus seems to be applicable to the entire section, if not to the entire piece. However, this can not be inferred from any indication in the available score versions.9.‘It is important to remember that the opening of the aesthetic as well as the performance‐technical horizon reaches far beyond the discovery of such alienations. This entails, however, an even more precise understanding and observation of their realisation. We are facing here, as in traditional tone articulation, a highly differentiated practice, a unique kind of sound culture that has to be studied carefully and treasured affectionately. Each of these performing techniques has its own fascination and beauty in the sense of sensual intensity’ (‘Wichtig ist mir die Erinnerung daran, dass die Öffnung des ästhetischen ebenso wie des spieltechnischen Horizontes weit über das Entdecken solcher Verfremdungen hinausgeht. Umso genauer allerdings muss deren richtige Ausführung verstanden und beachtet werden. Wir haben es hier, genau wie bei der traditionellen Tongebung, mit einer hoch differenzierten Praxis zu tun, einer eigenen Art von Klangkultur, die man sorgfältig studieren und liebevoll pflegen muss. Jede dieser Spieltechniken hat ihre eigene Faszination und Schönheit im Sinne von sinnlicher Intensität’ (Lachenmann and Hermann ).10.A detailed list of all recordings of Pression is provided in the Appendix. The durations of the recordings compared by Mosch (, pp. 26–38) – six of the eight available in the spring of 2005 – ranged between 8′17′′ (Grimmer's 1992 recording) and 9′32′′ (Michael Bach's of 1989). It is difficult to determine the exact duration of each recording, because the piece opens almost inaudibly and closes with a fermata on a quaver rest followed by a fading‐out resonance. Further difficulties are the high noise level in Bach's 1989 and in Werner Taube's 1971 LP recordings.11.See n. 10 on the difficulty of determining exact durations. At least three out of the four recordings made after 2010 are based on the 2010/2012 version of the score, as can be seen from, among other things, the technique of damping the strings with the chin.12.It has to be emphasised here that the three recordings in which this section is surprisingly short (27, 36 and 37 seconds) are the three YouTube videos included, two of which are semi‐professional in nature (concert recordings by advanced cello students). All other performances stay above 52 seconds here.13.Metaphorical descriptions of some sections in this piece are provided in the performance instructions to the 2010/2012 version, including the ‘“Morse”‐Section’, a term which probably originated in Jahn's analysis, where it is rendered for this section without comment (Jahn , p. 43).14.Stromberg cuts down the 60 seconds of the pressed‐bow section to 37, while Kasper expands it to 67; thus Kasper's comes closest to the prescribed duration of the score.15.‘It is not what is written down, marked out exactly in terms of its sound realisation, and considered as sealed once and for all but those natural, rather subcutaneous penetrations into the sound dimension which, proceeding from the written aspect, are first realised in the process of origination that may be understood […] as an unexpected enrichment or as a disturbing “contamination” and a misleading accessory feature. Viewed in this way, no open contradiction to the score should be in evidence even if Pression sounds differently each time it is performed, this in keeping with the varying outer and inner conditions of reception or […] the […] intentions […] of an interpreter who aimed at the appearances necessarily resulting from his activity and removed from his intentional sphere of influence. […] In fact, a clearly delineated Lachenmannian style has already established itself and been documented today. We know how the composer preheard his music and how it is to be performed. However, does not this aspect of Lachenmannian performance convention, presenting itself here in Pression […] in a traditional sequence of tension and development, express the cheerfully classicistic, the self‐balancing, ironically historicizing withdrawal of an originally more “expressionistic” mentality?’ (Bach ).16.This observation takes up the conclusion of Lukas Haselböck's paper ‘Troping Processes and Irony in Schubert's Schöne Müllerin’, presented at the 2014 EuroMAC Conference in Leuven in the same session at which the author presented the paper on which this essay is based.17.See the expansive analyses in DeLio () and Peck (). The latter is particularly relevant for our context because it considers the piece primarily from the perspective of performance and perception. See also Harley (), pp. 42–4.18.The eight sound complexes are defined by Xenakis and also rendered in graphic form (Xenakis , pp. 222 and 232–3; see also DeLio , pp. 76–81 and Peck , p. 88): (1) ataxic cloud of sound points; (2) relatively ordered ascending or descending cloud of sound points; (3) relatively ordered cloud of sound points, neither ascending nor descending; (4) ionised atom represented on a cello by interferences, accompanied by pizzicati; (5) ataxic field of sliding sounds; (6) relatively ordered ascending or descending field of sliding sounds; (7) relatively ordered cloud of sliding sounds, neither ascending nor descending and (8) atom represented on a cello by interferences of a quasi unison.19.See Peck () and Berry (). The tautological character of Peck's suggestions is obvious; ‘introductory material should have a quality of leading somewhere […]; expository material should be deliberate and obvious, and possess a certain stability. [… O]ne should present closing material with a sense of finality’ (Peck , pp. 109–10).20.Hughes reviews Xenakis's Nomos Alpha attending to Emmanuel Levinas's discussion of this work in Otherwise than Being, arguing that Palm's recording successfully communicates ‘the particular sound of the moment, rather than […] the larger architecture of the composition’, owing to the ‘energy of his performance’ and ‘his labored breathing’: ‘Palm gives the listener an image of the cellist as absolutely committed, body and soul, to this difficult and very physical piece; not passively absorbed but rather utterly focused on the production of sound demanded by the score. The sounds are so precise, so carefully played, and yet so surprising, that Palm himself gives the impression of dwelling, like the listener, fully in the particular sound of the moment, rather than in the larger architecture of the composition’ (Hughes , p. 204). Palm's recording is definitely very energetic but surely not ‘precise’, for it renders most sounds in a rather chaotic and opaque way. (The first event, bars 1–3, is omitted entirely from Palm's recording.) Levinas exemplified the Heidegger‐indebted trope of a ‘vibration’ or ‘resonance’ of being/essence by referencing Xenakis's Nomos Alpha: ‘the strings and wood turn into sonority. What is taking place? […] The cello is a cello in the sonority that vibrates in its strings and its wood […] . The essence of the cello, a modality of essence, is thus temporalized in the work’(quoted in Hughes , p. 116).21.‘Nomos Alpha is klankarchitectuur in beweging. Een muzikale ruimte waarin structuren uitdijen tot indrukwekkende klankcomplexen en weer inkrimpen tot de gebalde kracht van één toon’ (Deforce , p. 82).22.‘[I]n measure 1–3 in Nomos Alpha, the metronome marking is for a half‐note = 75 MM. It is possible to play the sixteenth note pizzicati using either a quasi‐tremolo (as if for a mandolin) using one or two fingers of the right hand, or by combining a pizzicato in the left and right hands. But Xenakis stated he wanted the pizzicati in this section played in the normal manner, with one finger, which makes these first three bars extremely difficult, if not impossible to play at that speed’ (Saram , p. 298). Arne Deforce uses a ‘mandolin’ pizzicato in his 2010 recording of the work.23.‘[A]t measure 4 and seq., the “fcl” (struck collegno) is at double the speed of the articulations of the first three bars, as Xenakis asks for two articulations to each sixteenth‐note! This is clearly impossible with a normal legno battuto. In order to realize such a passage, the cellist would need a bow notched with closely ground “teeth” that would be drawn across the string for measures 4, 5, and 6. This could then possibly reach the speed of articulation required’ (Saram , pp. 298–9).24.See Iddon (), p. 96: ‘[T]he score for Time and Motion Study II expresses more closely the gestures that a performer is expected to make to allow the sounding result of the piece to come into being. This is foregrounded most strongly in the performance directions for various sections, including such instructions as “sudden extremes of stillness and mobility, like certain reptiles and insects (i.e., praying mantis)”, “sharp and dry (the feel of powdered glass between the fingers)” or “analytic but flexible: like a sleepwalker's dance …”. Even without this, however, the absence of a notation for the sounding result of the piece (with the exception of the final page's scordatura), or any indication of the sounds that should be heard from the tape loops, suggests strongly that this is a score for performance, rather than for listening. 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Jahrhundert als Grundlagen einer Analyse posttonaler Musik (Hildesheim: Olms).Varga, Bálint András, 1996: Conversations with Iannis Xenakis (London: Faber Music).Xenakis, Iannis, 1992 [1955–65/1971]: Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition, rev. edn (Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon).NOTE ON THE CONTRIBUTORChristian Utz is Professor of Music Theory and Analysis at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz and Associate Professor of Musicology at the University of Vienna. His monographs include Neue Musik und Interkulturalität (Franz Steiner Verlag, 2002) and Komponieren im Kontext der Globalisierung (Transcript Verlag, 2014). He has also co‐edited Lexikon der Systematischen Musikwissenschaft (Laaber, 2010), Vocal Music and Contemporary Identities (Routledge, 2013) and Lexikon Neue Musik (Metzler and Bärenreiter, 2016). Utz serves on the executive board of the Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie (GMTH) and the editorial board of the Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie.

Journal

Music AnalysisWiley

Published: Jul 1, 2017

References