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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 June 2016


This analysis of Helmut Lachenmann's Salut für Caudwell (1977) for guitar duet is intended to add to the small amount of English literature that directly examines Lachenmann's music. A description of Salut's construction is offered, decrypting the extended techniques employed and outlining the work's formal design. The concept of ‘musical ruins’, namely degenerative yet familiar material, is deployed as a means to discuss specific moments of the music, and it will be demonstrated that moments of ‘musical ruin’ are inherently linked to aspects of instrumental technique as well as the musical form, making them critical to the reception of Salut. Other analyses of Lachenmann's work are used as methodological models and comparisons, providing a framework within which to examine unfamiliar musical territory, and placing Salut within the repertory of Lachenmann's more thoroughly documented music.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016 

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1 Helmut Lachenmann, ‘The “Beautiful” in Music Today’, Tempo, issue 135 (1980), pp. 20–24.

2 Ross Feller, ‘Resistant Strains of Postmodernism: The Music of Helmut Lachenmann and Brian Ferneyhough’, in Postmodern Music / Postmodern Thought, ed. Judy Lochhead and Joseph Auner (London: Routledge, 2002), pp. 249–62, here 251.

3 Helmut Lachenmann, ‘The “Beautiful” in Music Today’, p. 23.

4 Feller, ‘Resistant Strains of Postmodernism, p. 253.

5 Aaron Cassidy, programme note for ten monophonic miniatures for solo pianist (2003), notes (accessed 7 January 2015).

6 Hans-Peter Jahn, ‘Pression: Einige Bemerkungen zur Komposition Helmut Lachenmanns und zu den interpretationstechnischen Bedingungen’, in Musik-Konzepte 61/62: Helmut Lachenmann, ed. Heinz-Klaus Metzger and Rainer Riehn (Munich: Edition Text & Kritic, 1988), pp. 42–4.

7 Quoted in Abigail Heathcote, ‘Liberating Sound: Philosophical Perspectives on the Music and Writings of Helmut Lachenmann’, (Masters thesis, Durham University, 2003), p. 143.

8 Suzanne Farrin, Review of Helmut Lachenmann: Streichquartette (Arditti Quartet), Kairos CD 0012662KAI (2007), (accessed 8 December 2014).

9 John Croft, ‘Fields of Rubble: On the Poetics of Music after the Postmodern’, in The Modernist Legacy: Essays on New Music, ed. Björn Heile (Farnham: Ashgate, 2009), pp. 26–7.

10 Feller, ‘Resistant Strains of Postmodernism’, p. 256.

11 D. Alberman, Liner notes to compact disc Helmut Lachenmann 3, Montaigne Auvidis MO 782075, 1995; quoted by Feller, ‘Resistant Strains of Postmodernism’, p. 257.

12 Abigail Heathcote, ‘Liberating sound: philosophical perspectives on the music and writings of Helmut Lachenmann’, (MA thesis, Durham University, 2003), p. 148.

13 Helmut Lachenmann, Performance Notes for Salut für Caudwell (Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1977).

14 Quoted in Heathcote, ‘Liberating sound’, p. 144.

15 Lachenmann, Helmut (trans. Stadelman, Jeffrey), ‘Open Letter to Hans Werner Henze’, Perspectives of New Music, 35/2 (1997), pp. 189200CrossRefGoogle Scholar, here 189.