Commissioned by Kimmel Center PresentsProgram note
Vogelfänger (Birdcatcher) was composed for a concert that presented a contemporary reflection on the music of Mozart during the 250th anniversary years of his birth. Entitled “Mozart Reloaded,” the concert was presented by the Kimmel Center of Phila. PA on January 21, 2006. As part of the concert, four composers were asked to write four to six-minute “variations” for piano on Papageno’s aria Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja from The Magic Flute for pianist Charles Abramovic. This “variation” consists of a reflection on the relationship between Papageno and the birds he catches. In a larger sense, it is an ecological meditation about the relationship between man and his environment, the “taker” and the “taken.” The music itself focuses on the two most prominent melodic elements of the aria: Papageno’s pan-pipe “call” (a quick, upward scale) and the melodic “turn” (a note alternating with its upper and lower neighbors) that is the building block of his “song.” The commission of this piece is in honor of Ronald Sarachan, an environmental lawyer, in observance of his birthday, and was funded by his wife Lisa A. Miller. Material available from the composer.