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Godesberg Suite

december 9, 2018


In 2018 Georg Wagner and Ariane Toffel were appointed as carillonneurs of Bad Godesberg.

Bad Godesberg is a municipal district of Bonn, southern North Rhine Westphalia, Germany.  From 1949 to 1999, while Bonn was the capital of West Germany and later Germany, most foreign embassies were in Bad Godesberg. Some buildings are still used as branch offices or consulates.

The carillon in the city park of Bad Godesberg (district of Bonn, Germany) was built in the spring of 1979 by the international renowned Dutch company Royal Eijsbouts from Asten (near Eindhoven/The Netherlands) for the Federal Horticultural Exhibition in Bonn.The carillon was initially placed in the park Rheinaue and was transferred 1981 in the city park Bad Godesberg. It contains 23 bells (total weight around 290kg) with the notes c3, d3, e3, f3 chromatic up to c5. It has only a keyboard for the hands; a keyboard for feet, as regularly found, is not installed. Therefore, the idea arose to commission compositions specifically for this carillon.

Georg Wagner & Ariane Toffel commissioned Mathieu Daniel Polak to compose and arrange music for the carillon of Bad Godesberg. This led to the Godesberg Suite, a composition for carillon duet.

The premiere of the Godesberg Suite is due 2019. Georg and Ariane pre – premiered the Suite in Amersfoort.

The recording of the pre – premiere of the second movement could be found on YouTube: https://youtu.be/yxbMKQOsLd8

The recording of the pre – premiere of the Finale (Fifth Movement) is published on Sound Cloud: https://soundcloud.com/mathieu-daniel-polak/finale-godesberg-suite

The score will be released in spring 2019. If somebody is interested in this well-sounding composition only a short email to the composer is necessary. The composer will also take the score with him to his concerts-places in 2019.

The score of the first movement could be downloaded as a PDF by this link: Godesberg 23 november deel 1

Composing for a two octave carillon without pedals brought new insights. First of all, if the second player does not need to play the pedals, the two musicians are less struggling to reach their notes. Secondly, for carillonneurs without an organ background, the lack of pedals is a great comfort. It is possible to compose music in such a way, one does not miss the lack of pedals. Of course, as it is always the case with duets, the melody needs to stand out even when there are many notes in the lower octave.

The Godesberg Suite is the first book of a series of at least three books. The second book will be with arrangements of Beethoven, Schumann, Neefe and Ferdinand Ries. Those are all composers related with Bonn. In the third book, one will find a series of Etudes for solo carillonneur – only manual.

voorblad Godesberg



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