Amazing Moments in Timbre #4

The Amazing Moments in Timbre series continue with a piece by Olga Neuwirth. Known as the "Enfant terrible" of the Austrian contemporary classical music scene, Neuwirth composes in a very theatrical and expressionist way, and describes her own art as a music of catastrophes ("Katastrophenmusik"). In her Hommage à Klaus Nomi (2009), for countertenor and chamber ensemble, she magnifies Klaus Sperber (also known as Klaus Nomi), an iconic queer singer known for mixing New Wave aesthetics with operatic elements, in a set of four songs (So Simple, Remember, Can't help it, and The Witch).

The first song is a reprise of Simple Man, by Kristian Hoffmann, as sung by Klaus Nomi. Here, the accompaniment of the original version has been re-orchestrated, using clarinet, trumpet, electric guitar, cello, and double bass in addition to the synthesizers, to create colorful effects that enhance the expressivity of the countertenor part.

 Klaus Nomi, Simple Man (1982 - original version):


Olga Neuwirth, Hommage à Klaus Nomi (2009), So Simple (excerpt), with Andrew Watts (countertenor) and Klangforum Wien (June 4, 2005):

by Julie Delisle