Sonatine II (red)

Sonatine II is part of a series of audio-visual compositions that the then Bauhaus student Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack performed, together with Kurt Schwerdtfeger and Josef Hartwig, for the first time at the Bauhaus Festival in 1923. The Farbenlichtspiele (Color-Light Plays) were created using movable light sources and colored masks that were suspended in a box-like projection apparatus and operated by hand, which allowed complex overlapping and gradations of color that were coordinated with the music. Hirschfeld-Mack’s organ composition in D minor, which recalls a liturgical choral prelude, is thematically structured in a manner analogous to the color-light play of Sonatine II: the perfect and imperfect cadences occur in analogy with the formal sections of the visual composition. The Bauhaus artist wrote in his score that this art form developed directly from the desire to intensify rhythm and musical relationships in the non-time-based picture […] into a real, continuous movement.