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Just an Accident?

A requiem for Anton Webern and other victims of the absurd
for soprano, narrator, combo und large orchestra
soprano, narrator, combo and large orchestra
Edition: Performance material

Product Details


A Cold War document, based on a text by American journalist and writer Alan Levy. Levy became an eyewitness and chronicler of the Prague Spring. In 1971, the communist regime of the then Czechoslovakia discovered the author's notes describing the situation at the time, and he and his family were expelled. In Just an Accident? Levy erects a monument to this time and his personal experiences. For the composer René Staar, the artist as a metaphor for being human was a main aspect of this work. The artist and the surprising sudden death, the randomness and absurdity of the events were for him the driving force to write this work. In the final version for large orchestra, jazz combo, soprano and speaker, the dramatic piece seeks intermediate tones between the immediate event and the aura of the personality of those artists who have been and still are victims of violence and the mills of history. As the musicologist Matthias Schmidt, who lives in Basel, puts it: "An eloquent speechlessness speaks from every line of a work whose real subject is the question mark that concludes the title of the composition." Written between 1983 and 1985, this piece seems to be more topical than ever in the light of today's events. Recipient of the Ernst Krenek Prize of the City of Vienna 1986

Orchestral Cast

Combo: Klarinette in B (Solist); Altsaxophon in Es; Kornett in C; Schlagzeug (1 Spieler): Pauken, Glockenspiel, Vibraphon, Marimbaphon, hängendes Becken, Side-drum, Bass-drum, Chimes, Sirene; Klavier (auch Celesta); Kontrabass (Solist)
Orchester: 3 (2. auch Picc., 3. auch Altfl.) / 2, Engl.hr. / 2 (1. auch Combo), Bassklar. / 2, Kontrafag. • 4 (F) / 3 (C) / 3 / 1 • Hrf. • Pk. / Schlw. (2 Spieler): Tamtam, 3 kleine Trommeln in versch. Größen, Tambour mit Schellen, Maracas, Hängebecken, Kuhglocken, Gewehrmaschine, Triangel, große Trommel, ein Beckenpaar, Castagnetten, Holzblock, Claves, Metallpeitsche, Große hölzerne Ratsche, Donnerblech • Streicher (14/12/10/8/7)

More Information

Just an Accident?
A requiem for Anton Webern and other victims of the absurd
for soprano, narrator, combo und large orchestra
Text by Alan Levy
Performance material
Verlagsgruppe Hermann
Publishing year:
Year of composition:
1985 (2021)
op. 9
25 ′
World Premiere:
1986 · New Orleans, LA (USA)
Conductor: Philippe Entremont · New Orleans Symphony Orchestra


Technical Details

Product number:
LVGH 939


Set Ascending Direction
  • Just an Accident?
    Conductor: Paul Freeman
    Orchestra: Český národní symfonický orchestr
    1998 | Praha (Czech Republic) — National Premiere
  • Just an Accident?
    Conductor: Manfred Honeck
    Orchestra: Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich
    1987 | Wien (Austria) — National Premiere
  • Just an Accident?
    Conductor: Philippe Entremont
    Orchestra: New Orleans Symphony Orchestra
    1986 | New Orleans, LA (United States of America) — World Premiere
  • Set Ascending Direction

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