Die Königskünderin (The King-proclaimer) — character study after Elias Canetti
to John Holt
Included on the CD Facets 3 — New American Music for Trumpet (Crystal CD-768, 2009).
John Holt, trumpet:
• 20 September 2016; University of North Texas (Denton, TX)
• 19 September 2016; University of North Texas (Denton, TX)
• 7 March 2011; University of North Texas (Denton, TX)
• 6 March 2011; Voices of Change Salon Concert (Dallas, TX)
• 17 October 2006; University of North Texas (Denton, TX) [premiere]
Die Königskünderin ("The King-Proclaimer") is the eighth in a series of short works for solo instrument based upon the vividly surreal 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. Begun in 1997, there are fifteen works in this series to date, composed for contrabass, violin, contrabassoon, ocarina, glass harmonica, bass flute, alto saxophone, trumpet, percussion, bass saxophone, guitar, piccolo, organ, basset horn, and violoncello. In Canetti's depiction of this character, "The King-proclaimer has something majestic about her.... She is tall and stately and her supply of scorn is inexhaustible. She can tell underlings by the least gesture and keeps them away from the king before he is even proclaimed."
Die Königskünderin was completed in April of 2006 for trumpeter John Holt, who first performed the work at the University of North Texas on 17 October 2006. It is included on the recording Facets 3: New American Music for Trumpet (Crystal CD-768, 2009).