Tricks and Trifles, op. 101
Ernst Krenek (1900 - 1991)
When discussing music, one often speaks of musical material. In fact, it is possible to imagine that a composer, like a craftsman, has various materials at his/her disposal with which to make a piece of music. Whereas a shoemaker has leather, thread, and needle, a composer has tones and rhythms, to mention only two components.
In this piece, Tricks and Trifles, Krenek manipulated the musical material of four tones with great ease and attempted to show a bit of what he could do.
The first “trick” is that the melody in the clarinets and flutes is so simple at the beginning that it could have come from a nursery rhyme. Krenek took this small motif from a composition by one of his pupils.
And isn’t there also a little question-and-answer game between the different groups of instruments to be discovered here?