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Welcome! Manuel Fischer-Dieskau

Having studied and played the works of other composers my entire life to date, my desire to be able to create music myself has grown ever greater over the past few years. Developing my own sound worlds, creating musical structures and being able to express emotions in tones has become very important to me.

Fortunately, wonderful opportunities to perform my compositions arose very quickly and the reactions of the audience were so positive that I decided to invest more and more attention and time in this part of my musical work.

Below you will find a list of my most important compositions to date as well as some links to the corresponding performances.

„TEN“  for 10 violoncellos

Composition commissioned by HfM Mainz for the 10th anniversary of the new building on the university campus

The composition is based on a ten-note row, which - as the title suggests - deals with the number 10 in many ways: 10 cellos, 10 notes, 10 musical sections, a 10-bar theme. The premiere took place with the members of my cello class on the occasion of the international alumni day in the beautiful foyer of the university.

ten fuer 10 violoncelli

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„Relations“ Suite for violoncello & saxophone family (for Christian Segmehl)

Alongside the horn, the saxophone is the wind instrument whose timbre, in my opinion, seems most closely related to that of the violoncello. Both instruments share not only the melodiousness and warmth of their sound, but also the flexibility and versatility of their expressive possibilities and their wide tonal range.
I composed this suite, which consists of seven movements, for my friend Christian Segmehl and his wonderful saxophone playing on the occasion of a concert tour. The work includes the instruments soprano, alto and baritone saxophone as well as the unique tubax, the double bass of the saxophone family.

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„Aeolian seagulls“ for violoncello and jazz ensemble (for the Peter Lehel Quartet)

I have loved jazz since my early youth. As a child, I collected all of Oscar Peterson's LPs, and later, during my studies in Bloomington (Indiana/USA), I attended the improvisation courses of jazz legend David Baker, whose works for cello I dedicated an entire CD to 20 years later ("Singers of songs" / MDG)
When I was about 15 years old, I invented a little jazz melody while playing on my father's grand piano that has accompanied me ever since. I developed the song "Aeolian seagulls" from it, which the jazz saxophonist Peter Lehel congenially refined with his quartet. Here is a video recording from the BIX-Jazzclub Stuttgart.

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„Requiem viridem“ poetry/paintings/music

Wiesbaden-based poet, writer and educator Flora von Herwarth has also been a committed environmental activist for many years. She is intensely concerned with the issue of forest dieback. Reason enough for her to write a requiem for the forest. When she asked me to set the verses of her requiem to music for this special project, which also includes paintings by her artist friend, the Spanish painter Amador Vallina, I felt very honored and was delighted to agree. All the more so because the expressive poetry touched me directly and immediately triggered musical associations in me.
The result is a work for 3 violoncellos, baroque cello and electric cello as well as integrated recitation.

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Canções das Ninfas / Song of the Nymphs (for Juliane Banse & Christoph Poppen)

For me, the "Festival Internacional de Musica de Marvao" in Portugal is one of the most beautiful festivals in the world, located in a magical place and created and artistically directed by two people very close to me: The singer Juliane Banse and the violinist and conductor Christoph Poppen.
To thank them for the many times I was able to be a guest at their festival as a cellist, I wrote a composition for them in 2023, which sets texts from the 10th canto of the "Lusiades" by the Portuguese poet Luis de Camoes to music: "Canções das Ninfas / Song of the Nymphs" for soprano, violin and cello.
To my great astonishment there have never been any settings of this uniquely beautiful and poetic national epic of Portugal, which is studied by all children at school and is one of the foundations of the general education of the Portuguese. The texts of the seven movements of my song cycle all come from the 10th canto of the Lusiades, which was banned for a long time.

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„Trei feţe / Three faces“ concert poem for solo cello after Lucian Blaga

One of my favorite poems is by the Romanian poet and philosopher Lucian Blaga (1895-1961). It describes an entire lifetime in six short lines:

The child laughs: "My wisdom and my love is play!"
The boy sings: "My play and my wisdom is love!"
The old man is silent: "My love and my playing is wisdom!"

In my composition, I have tried to express the respective character traits of the three generations with different means: for example, I use saltando and trills for the playful child, lyrical passages and modulating harmonic sequences for the young man and rests and long note values for the old man.

„Oriental Monolog“ for solo 5-string double bass (after the painting "Lybian Desert" by Max Slevogt)

The Landesmuseum Mainz organizes the wonderful event series "beziehungsWeise", in which a work of art from the museum's collection is examined from an art-historical, musical and theological perspective. I am responsible for the musical part, together with the students of the Mainz University of Music. When I looked at Max Slevogt's magnificent painting, I immediately thought of the double bass, which, with its earthy, calm timbre, in my opinion, finds exactly the right tone for this picture. The composition "Oriental Monologue", which was premiered by the dedicatee, my professor colleague Waldemar Schwiertz from Leipzig, was written for the event in question.

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„Lacrimosa“ for violoncello, baritone and male choir

On the occasion of a performance of John Tavener's composition for violoncello and choir "Svyati", I was asked for a second piece for the concert. As I couldn't find another work for this instrumentation that I liked, I reworked the "Lacrimosa" from my "Requiem viridem" and rearranged it for male choir, baritone and violoncello. In this new guise, the piece is perhaps even more effective than in its original form.

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„Asobu“ for otamatone and toy piano

The title "Asobu" is Japanese for "play" or "play with me". Since both the Japanese otamatone, which I have been playing for pleasure for several years, and the toy piano are basically toy instruments, this name seemed very appropriate.
I was inspired to write this composition by the piece "Number One" for toy piano by my friend Margarete Huber, acomposer and singer from Berlin.
The pianist Fidan Aghayeva-Edler, to whom "Number One" was also dedicated, premiered the piece together with at the „Galery Copyright“ Berlin 2023.

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„He who sits on the throne laughs...“ Text from the Gospels of Luke and Matthew Gospels for girls' choir and orchestra

During my years as a cellist with the Cherubini Quartet (1989 - 1995), I got to know the great music manager and artistic director Franz Xaver Ohnesorg.
In his former position as director of the Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra, he was one of the greatest supporters of our stringquartet.
In the summer of 2023 I met him again at the wonderful music festival in Marvao/Portugal and we had some very personal and intensive conversations, in the course of which he asked me if I would be interested in writing a piece for the girls' choir of the Cologne Cathedral.
My composition "Lacrimosa",whose performance he had attended the evening before seemed to have pleased him very much.
Of course I was immediately enthusiastic about the idea and, as soon as I returned home I immediately set to work. Unfortunately Franz Xaver died completely unexpected shortly afterwards, so that I was no longer able to show him my composition in person.

Thankfully, his close confidant and my dear cousin, friend and colleague Christoph Poppen, principal conductor of the Cologne Chamber Orchestra, together with the director of the girls' choir of Cologne Cathedral, Oliver Sperling, have kindly accepted to create my work.
The world premiere is planed for December 2024 in the Philharmonic Hall Cologne.

In this work I thematize all the passages in the Gospels that speak of children. The title line is taken from the 2nd Psalm and, for me, creates a mental/visual pictorial bridge to the ever-laughing Franz Xaver Ohnesorg..


CONCERTO for solo cello, obbligato timpani and strings

My former colleague in the German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra Saarbrücken, violinist Götz Hartmann, has also been successfully and devotedly performing as a conductor for many years. As artistic director of the "Saarbrücker Sommermusiken", he has commissioned me to compose a cello concerto for September 2024. 

My concerto consists of three movements: At the beginning of the first movement, all the instruments are still "asleep", "breathing" regularly and giving the solo cello room to dream. These dreams gradually spread to all the instruments and finally end in a brilliant awakening. The 2nd movement is a lamentoso in which the violins are silent. Only violas, double basses and the two soloists wistfully lament the suffering of the world. Finally, the 3rd movement is playful and cheerful - a giocoso with a jazzy flair that concludes in radiant C major, not without self-irony.The first performance will take place at september 29th at the Sendesaal des Saarländischen Rundfunks in Saarbrtücken and will be recorded by the SR.




© Manuel Fischer-Dieskau. All rights reserved.