Der Saus und Braus

Complete Work Title: 

Der Saus und Braus (The Fun-runner) — character study after Elias Canetti

Performance Medium: 

solo piano




for Redi Llupa

Date Composed: 

October 2016 - April 2017

Additional Information: 
  • Included on Society of Composers, Inc. CD Series, Volume 35 (PARMA Recordings, 2023).
  • This work is part of a collection of solo works based on character studies in Elias Canetti's book Der Ohrenzeuge (Earwitness).
  • Solo works from this collection may be programmed as a set, or in conjunction with the semi-improvisational, open-form works Canetti-menagerie (for five to eight instruments) or Conversations (for two to four instruments), which use these works as source material for improvisational interplay.

Performance/Broadcast History: 
  • 1 February 2024: Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL) — FSU Festival of New Music
  • 13 February 2023; University of North Texas (Denton, TX)

    Jihye Chang, piano

  • 12 December 2021; Arc Project Online Festival (York, UK)

    Shannon Wettstein, piano

  • 9 May 2021; 2021 Society for Composers, Inc. National Conference (online).

    Redi Llupa, piano

  • 7 March 2020: First Christian Church (Columbus, IN)
  • 4 March 2020: DePauw University (Greencastle, IN)
  • 19 February 2020; St. Cloud University Performing Arts Center Recital Hall (St. Cloud, MN)

    Shannon Wettstein, piano

  • 8 March 2019; Texas A&M University, Commerce (Commerce, TX)
  • 7 March 2019; University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK)
  • 4 March 2019; University of North Texas (Denton, TX)
  • 7 February 2019; Metropolitan State University (Denver, CO)
  • 23 October 2018; James Madison University Concert Hall (Harrisonburg, VA) — JMU Contemporary Music Festival
  • 12 October 2018; University of Miami Frost School of Music, Clarke Recital Hall (Miami, FL)
  • 29 April 2018; New World Center (Miami, FL) [premiere]

    Redi Llupa, piano

Program Notes: 

Der Saus und Braus (The Fun-runner) is the sixteenth 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, begun in 1997, was inspired by the vividly surreal depictions of Canetti’s characters, and comprises twenty-two solo works to date—composed for familiar instruments such as violin, guitar, piano, and trombone, as well as less common instruments such as ocarina, cimbalom, glass harmonica, and carillon.  In Canetti's depiction of this character, "the fun-runner would once have come with the wind, now he comes faster… [He] lives in the tempest of towns... [and] has his own language. It consists of names of cities and currencies, exotic specialties and clothes, hotels, beaches, temples, and nightclubs.... Doddery old men may dream of calm ocean voyages... but that's nothing for him, he's in a hurry."

Der Saus und Braus was composed in 2017 for pianist Redi Llupa, who premiered the work on 29 April 2018 at the New World Center in Miami, Florida.