Battaglia (2002)
theater for trumpet and percussion

The Battaglia or Battle piece has existed as a musical form since the 15th century. From its beginnengs in the Chanson (Jannequin) and the Madrigal (Monteverdi), it appeared in the opera and then in instrumental music. Prominent examples are Beethoven's Battle of Victoria and Schostakovich's Leningrad Symphony. Musical settings of war themes range from pompous/tasteless glorification of war to programmatic descriptiveness. Many of these compositions are often humorous allegories and fables or satires and parodies. Igor Majcen's Battaglia for Trumpet and Percussion is a mixture of musical wit, slapstick, and black humor inspired by the literature of Daniil Kharms, a classic author of the absurd, whose macabre sense of humor and grotesque distortions of the text mask a deep despair for the breakdown of the human condition. The three two-part sections of the work express three different types of dualism: The fight or conflict (Duell I, II with fragments of text from story No. 13 taken from the cycle "Cases" by Daniil Kharms); "two for one" depicting a symbiotic relationship "blow in the same horn" (Doublett I, II); and a constructive togetherness in the sense of creative complementation (Duett I, II). The ironic ambiguity embodied in the work is associated with a candid musical pleasure, offering the performers freedom in their own theatrical interpretation. I.M.
Igor Majcen was born in 1952 in Maribor, Slovenia (formerly Yugoslavia). He studied Music Pedagogy at the University of Maribor from 1972-1975 and then composition with Professor Uros Krek at the Music Academy in Ljubljana, Slovenia from 1978-1982. From 1983-1987 he continued compositional studies in the Graduate Composition Class of Prof. Klaus Huber at the Freiburg Musikhochschule. Since completing his studies, Igor Majcen has lived in Freiburg where he composes, conducts Choirs, and teaches at a Music School. Up to this point, Igor Majcen has composed mainly chamber music. Here the dualism between rhythm and meter plays a particularly strong part. This subject is treated thoroughly in an essay published in 1997 entitled "O ritmu" (On Rhythm) and issued by the University of Ljubljana Press. During the process of composition, Igor Majcen pays particular attention to the playful elements but is also drawn towards the unconventional. He is currently composing for Orchestral as well as vocal and instrumental ensembles.
 

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