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  • Seth F. Josel


I first performed Salut für Caudwell (1977) at November Music in Den Bosch, two and half years ago. The festival celebrated Lachenmann's eightieth birthday in grand style, and the composer himself attended. During a backstage chat, Lachenmann, whom I've known for around 20 years, casually hinted that there were things ‘missing’ in the print edition of the work, published in 1985: that is, that performative information in the fair copy was not fully reproduced in the print edition. At that moment, my curiosity was piqued intensely, and the seed of a new edition was planted. While I understood the formidable challenges involved in properly preparing the part, rehearsing, and traversing this Everest of the guitar literature, I was not fully prepared for the astonishing array of hazards that awaited me. This article describes the labyrinth of sketches, drafts, and score iterations I encountered in beginning to prepare a new edition of Salut for Lachenmann's publishers, Breitkopf & Härtel.



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1 Ryan, David, ‘Composer in Interview: Helmut Lachenmann’, TEMPO, no. 210 (1999), p. 22.

2 This article was written under the auspices of a research fellowship at the Orpheus Institute, Ghent, where the author is a member of the HIPEX research cluster, led by Luk Vaes.

3 Deleuze, Gilles, Guattari, Felix, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. by Massumi, Brian (London: Athlone Press, 1987).

4 Foucault, Michel, The Archaeology of Knowledge, trans. by Smith, A. M. Sheridan (New York: Pantheon, 1972).

5 Paulo de Assis, ‘Towards Aesthetic-Epistemic Assemblages’, 2 October 2014,, accessed 11 July 2017.

6 In an email of 12 July 2017, Assis informed me that he has since posited a further stratum, one which is presented in his monograph, Logic of Experimentation: Reshaping Music Performance through Artistic Research (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2018): interstrata (occupying a space between substrata and epistrata). At pp. 61–2 Assis discusses the different strata and how they relate to different types of musical materials and at pp. 81–8 he explains the theory of strata and examines the historical and theoretical background of Deleuze and Guattari's use of the term.

7 Paulo de Assis, email to Seth Josel, 14 February 2018.

8 Caudwell, Christopher, Illusion and Reality – A Study of the Sources of Poetry (Berlin: Seven Seas Publishers, 1973).

9 Caudwell, Illusion and Reality, p. 318.

10 Caudwell, Christopher, Bürgerliche Illusion und Wirklichkeit, trans. by Bretschneider, Horst (Dresden: Verlag der Kunst, 1966).

11 Christopher Caudwell, Bürgerliche Illusion und Wirklichkeit, ed. Peter Hamm, trans. by Horst Bretschneider (Munich: Carl Hanser Verlag, 1971). Postscript by Peter Hamm, p. 308.

12 See Lukács, Georg, Die Eigenart des Ästhetischen (Neuwied: Luchterhand Verlag, 1963), pp. 98, 267ff, 276, 598, 636, 785.

13 Caudwell, Bürgerliche Illusion und Wirklichkeit, p. 309.

14 Helmut Lachenmann, email to Seth Josel, 15 August 2018.

15 These words are most often associated with the roundelay (Rundgesang) that appears in Das trunkene Lied and Das andere Tanzlied.

16 Shaked, Yuval, ‘Helmut Lachenmanns “Salut Für Caudwell”: Eine Analyse’, Nova Giulianiad, 2, no. 6 (1985), p. 105; Hans-Peter Jahn, ‘Metamorphe Prozesse in den Kompositionen von Helmut Lachenmann’, sleeve note to Col Legno 5504 (DC 0647 277) (1986), p. 11; Raphael Ophaus, ‘Helmut Lachenmanns “Salut für Caudwell”: Analyse und Interpretation’ (unpublished bachelor's thesis, Hochschule für Musik Würzburg, 2013), pp. 30, 40–42.

17 See bars 53–54.

18 Jürgen Ruck comments extensively on this quotation as well as the passage's context in ‘Helmut Lachenmanns Salut für Caudwell’, in Mythos Handwerk? zur Rolle der Musiktheorie in aktueller Komposition, ed. Ariane Jeßulat (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2015), pp. 247–49.

19 These include Ruck, ‘Helmut Lachenmanns Salut für Caudwell’; Schmidt, Matthias, ‘Vergessenheit: Zu Helmut Lachenmanns Ästhetik Der Kindheit’, in Nachgedachte Musik: Studien Zum Werk von Helmut Lachenmann, ed. Hiekel, Jörn Peter and Mauser, Siegfried (Saarbrücken: Pfau-Verlag, 2005), pp. 105–15; Jungheinrich, Hans-Klaus, ‘Für Kinder’, in Der Atem des Wanderers: Der Komponist Helmut Lachenmann, ed. Jungheinrich, Hans-Klaus (Mainz: Schott Music, 2006), pp. 5766; Hiekel, Jörn Peter, ‘Zwischen Nüchternheit’, in Auf (-) und zuhören: 14 Essayistische Reflexionen über die Musik und die Person Helmut Lachenmanns, ed. Jahn, Hans-Peter (Hofheim am Taunus: Wolke Verlag, 2005); Nonnenmann, Rainer, Angebot Durch Verweigerung (Mainz: Schott, 2000), pp. 108–9; Hofer, Wolfgang, ‘SPUREN. LESEN. Kreuz und quer. Manchmal im Märchen. Mit den Schwefelhölzchen als Beispiel. Zu Helmut Lachenmann’, in Auf (-) und zuhören: 14 Essayistische Reflexionen über die Musik und die Person Helmut Lachenmanns, ed. Jahn, Hans-Peter (Hofheim am Taunus: Wolke Verlag, 2005), pp. 169–79.

20 Ruck, ‘Helmut Lachenmanns Salut für Caudwell’, pp. 247–8.

21 The manuscript copy consists of A4 pages held together in pairs by adhesive tape. In total, there are ten extant pairs of pages, which are also numbered accordingly, meaning that this preserved extant copy concludes with bar 308 (bar 310 in the print version). The remaining pages – 11–17 (there are several photocopies of individual pages) – are in individual A4 sections. These are sparsely corrected/annotated – some, not at all – which leads us to speculate that the missing seven pages might indeed be lost, a notion that was recently confirmed after a new delivery of materials to the PSS was thoroughly combed through.

22 In my new edition of Salut, I will argue for a nearly complete appropriation and amalgamation of the performance directions for more recent compositions including ‘…zwei Gefühle…’, Musik mit Leonardo and Got Lost in order to more accurately represent what Lachenmann has been striving for with respect to text recitation. See the interview that I conducted with Lachenmann in April 2017, in MusikTexte (forthcoming).

23 Seth Brodsky, ‘Helmut Lachenmann: Salut für Caudwell, for 2 guitars (with speaking)’, 2002,, accessed 28 December 2017.

24 Caudwell, Bürgerliche Illusion und Wirklichkeit, p. 293.

25 Lachenmann's primary contacts were Rudolf Lück at Gerig and Hanno Ehrler at Breitkopf. The composer's extensive contact with Willi Giefer, the engraver employed by Breitkopf to create the score, is also of interest, since Giefer was responsible for engraving the score. In an email to the author dated 21 February 2017, Giefer confessed however to having no record of their written correspondence. (The one surviving letter addressed to Giefer [from 26 December 1983], which is housed in Wiesbaden, would therefore be a carbon copy made by Lachenmann himself.) Indeed, questions that arose during the copying process were rarely dealt with in written form; instead, they were discussed over the telephone.

26 Neither Bruck nor Ross recall discussing the possibility of a trio with Caskel, although Ross has stated it might have been a possibility during one of their many tours as members of Mauricio Kagel's ensemble.

27 On which see Interstratum II.

28 Letter to Willi Giefer (copyist), 26 December 1983; letter to Hanno Ehrler (Breitkopf), 26 March 1985; letter to Lieselotte Sievers (Breitkopf), 9 September 1984.

29 Hanno Ehrler, who was an editor at Breitkopf during the mid-1980s, indicated to me in a private conversation of 7 August 2017 that normally the music publisher would be responsible for securing such a license since the publisher owns the copyright.

30 Carl Hanser Verlag, to whom the letter was forwarded, granted permission to use the translation of the original text on 23 November 1978 for a token fee of 50.00 Deutsch Mark.

31 For more information on the research cluster, see

32 There are multiple examples supporting this thesis, most of which involve further alterations to the score that are not documented here.

33 There are flagrant errors in grammar, syntax, and even content. The fourth edition will feature a new translation by the present author.

34 The situation regarding the materials was not ameliorated by the print version, and the practice of constructing one's own performance score has continued with succeeding generations.

35 Despite multiple inquiries at various institutions, there is no record of an exact publication date.

36 We can deduct from the various inscriptions in Parastratum 1.3 (the photocopy of the autograph at PSS) that the facsimile edition was published after some of the markings had been entered; indeed, it reflects the amelioration of the score following rehearsal and performance.

37 Lachenmann, Helmut, Musik als existentielle Erfahrung: Schriften 1966–1995, ed. Häusler, Josef (Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1996), p. 390.

38 Helmut Lachenmann, ‘Struktur und Musikantik’. Lachenmann specifically mentions that this essay is a revised version of a lecture first presented in Zurich on 9 November 1979. The essay was republished years later in Musik als existentielle Erfahrung, pp. 155–61.

39 Apparently, the producer at WDR was determined to have the performers use separate microphone set-ups in order to take advantage of multi-track technology that would provide him with complete control over the editing and mixing process. Hence, they were separated by acoustic panels and were forced to sit further apart than they had envisioned – this was compounded by the less-than-flattering acoustics of the room.

40 Brandt, Christopher and Hoffmann, Robin, FoxFire: Neue Musik für Gitarre(n) und Stimme (Bd. CAD 800 875, Cadenza, 1997); Bruck, Wilhelm and Ross, Theodor, Helmut Lachenmann: Gran Torso, Salut für Caudwell (Bd. 5504, Col Legno, 1986); Bruck, Wilhelm and Ross, Theodor, Helmut Lachenmann: Salut für Caudwell, Les Consolations, Concertini (Bd. 0012652KAI, Kairos, 2005); McAllister, Colin and Keller, Derek, Solos and Duos for Guitar (Bd. OKC D006, Old King Cole Productions, 2002); Romen, Barbara and Schneider, Gunter, Disordered Systems (CD 018–2, Durian Records, 2002); Sato, Norio and Koh, Kei, ‘Salute’: Salut für Caudwell (Bd. AlCD-53, ALM Records, 1999); Scheidegger, Matts and Schmidt, Stefan, Zeitgenössische Gitarren-Duos (Bd. MGB CTS-M 90, Musiques Suisses/Migros-Gemeinschaft, 2002).

41 Bruck, Wilhelm, Pro Musica Nova: Studien zum Spielen Neuer Musik (Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1992), pp. 911, 22–46.

42 There are only two articles in English among them – the market for such articles has been unquestionably German-oriented, the reasons being self-evident. Nevertheless, recent publications indicate a slowly shifting tide, further supporting my own efforts. See Dyer, MarkHelmut Lachenmann's Salut für Caudwell: An Analysis’, TEMPO 70, no. 277 (2016), pp. 3446; Downs, Benjamin, ‘Late Serialism in Early Lachenmann’, Mitteilung der Paul Sacher Stiftung, no. 30 (April 2017), pp. 2531.

43 Jahn, Hans-Peter, ‘Pression: Einige Bemerkungen zur Komposition Helmut Lachenmann und zu den interpretationstechnischen Bedingungen’, Musik-Konzepte 61/62 (1988), pp. 4061.

44 Jahn, ‘Pression’, p. 47.

45 Josel, Seth F., ‘Form can wait’, Musik und Ästhetik, 22, no. 1 (Jan. 2018), pp. 2744.

46 While discussing structure and form in Salut, as well as the key issue of the transitions therein, Yuval Shaked, who has maintained a friendship with Lachenmann for over three decades and was also the first to write an exhaustive commentary on Salut, referenced Adorno's monograph Berg: Der Meister des kleinsten Übergangs. He relayed an anecdote to me in which, apparently, he jestingly pointed out to Lachenmann that the composer himself was ‘der Meister des noch kleineren-als-der-kleinste Übergangs’ [the master of even the smaller-than-smallest transitions].

47 Illuminating, often-cited interviews include Heathcote, Abigail, ‘Sound Structures, Transformations, and Broken Magic: An Interview with Helmut Lachenmann’, in Contemporary Music: Theoretical and Philosophical Perspectives, ed. Paddison, Max and Deliège, Irène (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010), pp. 331–48; Ulrich Mosch, ‘“Musik als existentielle Erfahrung” (Gespräch mit Ulrich Mosch)’, in Lachenmann, Musik als existentielle Erfahrung, pp. 213–26; Metzger, Heinz-Klaus, ‘Fragen-Antworten (Gespräch mit Heinz-Klaus Metzger)’, Musik-Konzepte 61/62 (1988), pp. 116–33.

48 Here, according to Assis, an important distinction needs to be made because such interviews would fall into the category of epistrata as opposed to substrata, since they deal primarily with the work under consideration.

49 Càsoli, Elena, ‘Intervista a Helmut Lachenmann’, Il Fronimo. Rivista di chitarra 40 (2012), pp. 713.

50 Xavier Le Roy, ‘Staging Salut für Caudwell (Preliminary Notes and Retrospective Questions)’, L'Inouï: Revue de l'Ircam, 2 (2006),, accessed 25 July 2018.

51 The title of this evening-length performance was Mouvements for Lachenmann (2005); also included were performances of Lachenmann's Mouvement and ‘Schattentanz’ from Kinderspiel. Salut für Caudwell featured the guitarist Gunter Schneider and Barbara Romen (live), and Günter Lebbig and Tom Pauwels (mime).

52 Xavier Le Roy, ‘Staging Salut für Caudwell’.

53 Publications that allude to Le Roy's staging include Hübner, Falk, Shifting Identities: The Musician as Theatrical Performer (Utrecht: HKU Research Centre Performative Processes, 2014); Engström, Andreas, Glass, Christian and Moltrecht, Elke, ‘Grußwort: Interview mit Helmut Lachenmann’ (programme booklet, Faithful! Festival, 2014), pp. 812; Meyer-Kalkus, Reinhart, ‘Klangmotorik und Verkörpertes Hören in der Musik Helmut Lachenmanns’, in Der Atem Des Wanderers Der Komponist Helmut Lachenmann, ed. Jungheinrich, Hans-Klaus, (Mainz: Schott Music, 2006), pp. 91110.

54 Paulo de Assis, email to Seth Josel, 17 June 2018.

55 I have pondered Lachenmann's decision to use the spaces to designate the strings as opposed to the traditional method of using the lines, and have concluded that it is indeed much more effective in communicating visually to the performer, in that the right-hand staff distinguishes itself more prominently from the left-hand staff, thus significantly reducing the danger of potential confusion.

56 ‘Note all stopped positions directly under (the notated pitch[es])’ (trans. Seth Josel).

57 Indeed, Lachenmann addressed this question directly in our interview.

58 In the interim, I have conferred with both performers about these issues, and the revised print edition will reflect the modifications.

59 Seth Brodsky, email to Seth Josel, 19 April 2017.

60 The original plates, which were preserved in Wiesbaden, have been digitised, thus enabling the editor to now make changes using Photoshop with relative ease.

61 Jürgen Ruck, email to Seth Josel, 26 January 2017.

62 According to Breitkopf, Lachenmann is here referring to the planned fourth printing, which has now morphed into the critical edition whose preparation I am overseeing. Frank Reinisch, email to Seth Josel, 7 December 2016.

63 Lachenmann has entrusted me fully with the creation of the new edition and has rejected my offer to consult with him over a short but concentrated period at his home; I had intended the composer would study the list of discrepancies in detail and, ultimately, bring this chapter to a close, at least for the foreseeable future.

64 For those interested in process and structure, the personal copy of the print version has a wealth of (legible) indications appearing to comprise various number orderings, which Lachenmann utilised while composing. On face value, they are a clear reminder of his ‘roots’ as a serialist.

65 Grier, James, The Critical Editing of Music: History, Method, and Practice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), p. 2.

66 Grier, The Critical Editing of Music, p. 4.

67 Grier, The Critical Editing of Music, p. 9.

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