Composer: Johannes Steinbauer
Duration: approx. 11 min.
PHILO SOPHIE is a fantasy for vibraphone, which is divided into two parts.
The first part begins celestially and mysteriously, followed by isolated, in part still fragmented “ideas”.
In the second part, these “ideas” appear in a more structured form, transform and finally disappear into nothing.
To give the interpretation as much freedom as possible, no dynamics are marked. The motor should be used in both parts of the piece – the ad lib. marking prefers to the speed of the motor.
I wish all vibraphonists a lot of fun and success with PHILO SOPHIE!
Special thanks to Matti Opiola for the intensive interpretation and Thorsten Blumberg for the professional and creative production of the presentation video.
Bonn, November 2021
Performed by Matti Opiola
About the composer +
Johannes Steinbauer was born in 1973 in Bavaria (Germany) and started drumming in a brass band at the age of 11. Later, he was taught by Christian Obermaier, who laid the groundwork for his professional training.
In 1993, whilst studying with Prof. Arnold F. Riedhammer at the „Richard Strauss Konservatorium“ in Munich, Johannes Steinbauer won a position as percussionist in the „Beethoven Orchester Bonn“. In 2001 he was appointed Principal Percussionist of the „WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln“.
Studies for snare drum and percussion were written in 2019, based on decades of orchestral experience. In 2020, Johannes Steinbauer composed his first solo pieces, including the 2020 Solo Trilogy for Vibraphone and Percussion, which was produced by the Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Cologne in 2021.
For more information, please visit www.charakter-etueden.de
Review (Percussive Notes, June 2022)
“Philo Sophie” is a fantasy for solo vibraphone presented in two movements. The first movement emphasizes the celestial quality of the vibraphone, with arpeggios floating across the range of the instrument, and a second section involving a call-and-response between melodic fragments and harmonic pulsations. The second movement is primarily presented as a melody with accompaniment, a texture at which the vibraphone excels.
The piece is harmonically interesting throughout, and Johannes Steinbauer’s harmonic coloration of both melody and accompaniment elevates the material. It is an intimate work that requires performers to invest in and commit to their interpretation. No dynamics are provided, allowing for individual expression at a level not commonly found in solo repertoire.
Steinbauer has created a solo vibraphone work that honors the history and timbral qualities of the instrument without being bound by them. “Philo Sophie” is certainly a worthy addition to any concert program.
—Jamie Wind Whitmarsh
Front Cover: Julia Okon
Front Cover Artwork: Nicola Lee
Photo: Thorsten Blumberg
Translation: Dan Townsend
Engraving: Johannes Steinbauer
Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
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