Der Hinterbringer

Complete Work Title: 

Der Hinterbringer (The Tattletale) — character study after Elias Canetti

Performance Medium: 

solo piccolo




for Elizabeth McNutt

Date Composed: 

February - April 2013

Additional Information: 

• Included on the album Improbable Encounters (innova 873, 2014).

Performance History: 

Elizabeth McNutt, piccolo:
• 11 April 2018; Moody Performance Hall (Dallas, TX)

Meg Griffith, piccolo:
• 20 April 2018; Lone Star College (Houston, TX)
• 5 April 2018; Stephen F. Austin State University (Nacadoches, TX)
• 29 March 2018; The Hideout (Austin, TX)
• 1 March 2018; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (Fort Worth, TX)
• 18 November 2018; The Rec Room (Houston, TX)

Elizabeth McNutt, piccolo:
• 19 September 2016; University of North Texas (Denton, TX)
• 30 March 2016; Ruth Gant Recital Hall, St. Cloud State University (St. Cloud, MN)
• 18 March 2014; University of North Texas (Denton, TX) [premiere]

Program Notes: 

Der Hinterbringer ("The Tattletale") is the twelfth in a series of short works for solo instrument based upon characters in Der Ohrenzeuge: Fünfzig Charaktere ("Earwitness: Fifty Characters"), written in 1974 by the Bulgarian-born British-Austrian novelist Elias Canetti (1905-1994). Canetti’s distinctive studies incorporate poetic imagery, singular insights, and unabashed wordplay to create fifty ironic paradigms of human behavior. This collection of works, begun in 1997, was inspired by the vividly surreal depictions of Canetti’s characters and includes works for contrabass, violin, bass flute, ocarina, contrabassoon, glass harmonica, trumpet, percussion, bass saxophone, piccolo, organ, basset horn, and violoncello, among others.  In Canetti's depiction of this character, The Tattletale "won't keep anything to himself if it could hurt someone's feelings. He hurries and gets a steal on other tattletales... [he] will overlook no insult uttered in anger, and he makes sure that it teaches the insultee."

Der Hinterbringer was composed between February and April of 2013 for flutist Elizabeth McNutt, who premiered the work at the University of North Texas on March 18, 2014. It is included on the album Improbable Encounters (innova 873, 2014).