Karlheinz Essl

Portrait KHE

Trois cent notes

for piano solo

version for vibraphone solo

Listen | Score | Performances


In this piece which last around 4 minutes, the sustain pedal has to be depressed until the very end.

Although notated solely in quavers, the tempo emcompasses a wide range from very slow to extremly fast. Starting with a speed of MM = 50, it gradually accelerates to MM = 400 which equals three “time octaves”, speaking with Karlheinz Stockhausen (cf. his famous article ...how time passes... from 1957). A similiar transition also happens in the harmonic domain where the range of three octaves (from F to f”) finally collapses into a single pitch (f'):

Harmonic structure of Trois cent notes

Harmonic structure of Trois cent notes
© 2019 by Karlheinz Essl

And also in the dynamics, a permanent process of crescendo and diminuendo takes place. Needless to mention, all this processes happen simultaneously at the same time. Despite its strict structure, the piece should be played in a fluent rubato attitude with lots of espressivo. Pay attentention to the piano resonance while playing – they will guide you through this sound journey.


Computer simulation of Trois cent notes on a Steinway D piano
Recorded by Karlheinz Essl on 9 Jan 2019


Here you can download the score for free. Besides the original piano piece there is also a version for vibraphone solo. Please note that this composition is protected by copyright.


Trois cent notes (2019) for piano solo, page 1
© 2019 by Karlheinz Essl

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Updated: 28 Jan 2019