Concert Band


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Concert Piece
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Thiemo Kraas can doubtlessly be regarded as one of the most interesting and gifted young German composers of his generation. Born in 1984, the musician was only 18 when he composed his work "Imagasy", for which he was awarded 2nd Prize in the Young Composers’ Competition in North Rhine-Westphalia in 2003. Kraas originally began his musical education with percussion before continuing with piano, composition and aural training after 2001. Since 2005 he has been studying at the College of Music in Detmold, with music education and percussion as his major subjects. He is a member of the German Wind Philharmonic and the world orchestra "World of Winds". Since April 2007 he has been the recipient of a scholarship from the Studies Foundation of the German People.

"Imagasy" is a portmanteau word, a combination of the English terms "imagination" and "fantasy" which makes clear what the programme of this composition is. Taking the Bible text "In the beginning was the Word" as its starting point, the intention of "Imagasy" is to suggest to the listener that the origin of all creativity is imagination and illusion. Kraas himself writes about his composition: "Fantasy is definitely one of the most wonderful gifts which has been given to us. It is up to us to permit our fantasy to unfold itself or else to succumb to the rationality of the modern world." Kraas does not see in the juxtaposition of reason and fantasy an incompatible set of opposites, but simply two aspects of human existence which belong together.

The composer was motivated to write his work after watching a little child painting who, completely lost in his activity, created a dream world for himself. "With his boundless fantasy he painted me a story" is how Kraas describes this experience. His tone language expresses itself in a tremendously emotional and sonorous way. Although he does not disown his compositional models, he tries to bring his almost overflowing wealth of musical ideas into a form dictated by musical logic. His sense of sound and the instrumental variety which he uses to realise his tonal ideas are captivating. Wonderful solo passages stand side by side with great tapestries of sound often developed from the tenor and bass registers, themselves rich in overtones. Filigree delicacy contrasts with voluminous passages, and a lively leggiero intensifies into a pathos of broad dimensions.

At the same time, Kraas’ music also has a considerable entertainment value for his audiences and can also motivate its interpreters to advance in their intended performance towards limits which are not always usual in wind music. In this context it is of particular interest that this composition stimulated the well-known Potsdam artist Christian Heinze to paint the wonderfully delicate picture which forms the cover of the edition.

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