Karlheinz Essl

Portrait KHE

Sequitur V

for toy piano and live-electronics

Dedicated to Isabel Ettenauer

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Sequitur V for toy piano and live-electronics, performed by Isabel Ettenauer
From the CD whatever shall be (col legno 2023


Sequitur is a series of 14 compositions for various solo instruments and live-electronics written for outstanding soloists. Somehow it can be seen as a reference to Luciano Berio's famous Sequenze cycle of solo pieces which focus on specific playing techniques of the respective instrument. Essl's Sequitur cycle includes pieces for orchestral instruments like flute and violin, but also for voice, electric guitar, toy piano or kalimba. All Sequitur compositions use a software written in MaxMSP which creates an electronic accompaniment from the instrument’s live input; the player is confronted with his own playing, and this creates a situation like moving in a house of mirrors where the identities becomes blurred.

english Having written several pieces for the toy piano before, I dedicated Sequitur V to this interesting instrument which — in fact — has not much in common with the piano as we know it. Its sound resembles chimes or maybe parts of a gamelan orchestra and therefore is not connected to the great history of classical piano music from Bach to Stockhausen; a fact that makes this instrument more accessible for me. Although the toy piano is tiny in every respect, the sound that it produces in Sequitur V becomes incredibly rich thanks to amplification and realtime sound processing.

française Après avoir écrit plusieurs pièces pour piano-jouet, j’ai consacré Sequitur V à cet intéressant instrument qui n’a, en fait, pas beaucoup à voir avec le piano tel que nous le connaissons habituellement. Sa sonorité ressemble à un carillon ou, peut-être, à certains instruments d’un orchestre de gamelan. Ainsi, cet instrument n’est pas relié à la grande histoire de la musique écrite pour piano classique, de Bach à Stockhausen, et cela me le rend encore plus accessible. Bien que le piano-jouet soit très petit en chacun de ses aspects, le son qu’il produit dans Sequitur V devient incroyablement riche, grâce à l’amplification et au traitement en temps réel.


The score of Sequitur V can be downloaded for free. Please note that the music is protected by copyright.


Isabel Ettenauer performing Sequitur V
BACK TO THE FUTURE - Neue und alte Musik für Toy Piano
Klosterneuburg, Essl Museum: 11 Mar 2009

Isabel Ettenauer performing Sequitur V
Museum Humanum, Fratres: 24 Jul 2021
Video: Benjamin Epp

Young-Ha Chung and Karlheinz Essl performing Sequitur V
4th Seoul Toy Music Festival
Sharon Hall Seoul: 9 Dec 2023

Xenia Pestova and Karlheinz Essl performing Sequitur V
Montreál / Vienne - Contemporary Keyboard Society
Montréal, Chapelle Historique du Bon-Pasteur: 10 Feb 2012

Víctor Trescoli Sanz and Karlheinz Essl performing Sequitur V
Karlheinz Essl: Music for (Toy) Piano and Electronics
Universitat Politécnica de Valencia: 27 Apr 2012


Maria Kallionpää: Beyond the Piano: The Super Instrument. Widening the Instrumental Capacities in the Context of the Piano Music of the 21st Century, Chapter "3.7 Karlheinz Essl: Sequitur V". Dissertation (University of Oxford, 2014)

Antonietta Loffredo: The Toy Piano. From the Playroom to the Concert Platform
(Bologna: Ut Orpheus, 2018). - ISBN: 978-88-8109-511-7

Karlheinz Essl: The Toy Piano is Neither a Toy Nor a Piano
Lecture given at the 4th Seoul Toy Music Festival on 9 Dec 2023


Michael Zwenzner: Werkzeuge der Neuen Musik: Das Toy Piano
Karlheinz Essls Musik für Toy Pianos.
Radiofeature: hr2 | Neue Musik (Erstsendung: 26.03.2020)

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Updated: 12 Dec 2023