(b Swabia or Alemannia, between 1470 and 1475; dc1540). Swiss composer. He was a travelling minstrel (‘ioculator egregius’) until about 1510. He was offered the position of court jester to the Count of Württemberg, but declined it. Later he probably lived in Augsburg and Basle. From about 1520 he was a headmaster in Kaysersberg, north-west of Colmar, Alsace. From there he corresponded with Swiss humanist circles, in particular with Joachim Vadian, the Amerbach brothers and Glarean.
Apart from a Latin psalm motet and two sacred two-voice songs, 22 secular German songs for four and five voices have survived; ten are contained in CH-Bu F X 1–4, compiled in 1523–5 for the Amerbach family. Of these songs, a cycle of four four-voice arrangements of the folksong Elslein, liebstes Elselein is particularly interesting; the melody appears in a different voice in each version, and the phrases already show a strong tendency towards homophony. A psalm motet for five voices and other songs are lost.
Beatus qui intelligit, 4vv, 15386; Curia pauperibus, 2vv, 154916; Pleni sunt caeli, 2vv, 15471, ed. in MSD, vi (1965)
22 songs, 4–5vv, 153510, 15368, CH-Bu F X 1–4; 10 ed. H.J. Moser, 65 deutsche Lieder … nach dem Liederbuch von Peter Schöffer und Mathias Apiarius (Wiesbaden, 1967)
A.Quellmalz: ‘Der Spielmann, Komponist und Schulmeister Paul Wüst (um 1470 – um 1540): Beiträge zu seiner Lebensgeschichte’, Zum 70. Geburtstag von Joseph Müller-Blattau, ed. C.-H. Mahling (Kassel 1966), 221–31 [contains complete list of works]
(b Aeschi, Berne, 3 Aug 1937). Swiss composer. He studied with Sava Savoff (piano) and Sándor Veress (theory) at the Berne Conservatory (diploma 1962) and with Klaus Huber (composition) at the Musik-Akademie der Stadt Basel (1968–72). He also studied linguistics, philosophy and musicology at Zürich University (doctorate 1973). He has taught at Zürich and Basle universities (1971–85) and at the Winterthur Conservatory (from 1985). In 1974 he founded Mixt Media Basel, an ensemble specializing in experimental music-theatre works. His honours include first prize in the Zürich composition competition (1972), distinctions from the International Composers Seminars, Boswil (1974, 1976, 1978), the Paul Gildson prize of the Communauté radiophonique des programmes de la langue française (1984) and the Anerkennungspreis Kultur of the canton of Basel-Landschaft (1991).
Wüthrich has developed individual compositional procedures for each of his works, hoping ‘that a person who hears one of my works will experience something he or she can experience only in this piece and nowhere else’ (Meyer, 1996). Many of his compositions target or derive from social behaviours. His first music-theatre piece, Das Glashaus (1974–5), is an experiment in ‘using psychophonetics and body language to show patterns of communicative behaviour typical of pecking orders’ (Meyer, 1996). In Netz-Werke I–III (1982–4, 1984–5, 1987–9) sound-making organisms regulate themselves, without being directed by a conductor, by means of a system of immanent dependencies, providing a metaphor for a government-free society of responsible individuals. Genossin Caecilia (1976) outlines a ‘set of directions for an extremely partner-orientated … art, proceeding out of a quite specific, concrete partner [a social outsider], elaborated with that person, and also intended first and foremost for that person’ (H. Wüthrich: ‘Einholen – betroffen sein – ausholen – treffen: komponieren mit einem ‘andern Ich’, Interface, xii, 1983, pp.429–32). Other works present more direct musical expression. The string quartet Annäherungen an Gegenwart (1986–7), for example, explores the musical instant in 28 brief moments, each differently organized, that are both separated and linked by silence.
Inst (for orch, unless otherwise stated): Orchestersatz I, 1970; Zwei Minuten gegen das Vergessen, pf/str trio, 1978; Netz-Werk I, 1982–4; … wie in einem sehr grossen Schiff oder Fisch …, 1982–4; Flexible Umrisse, 1984–5; Netz-Werk II, 1984–5; Annäherungen an Gegenwart, str qt, 1986–7; Netz-Werk III, 1987–9; Chopin im TGV Basel – Paris, die Sonne betrachtend, fl, vn, pf, 1989
Vocal (all texts by Wüthrich): Der heimliche Weg, S, cl, tpt, vn, vc, elec org, perc, 1968; Requiem für Gulliver, 4vv, orch, tape, 1972–3; Das Glashaus, 6 spkr, S, perc, tape, 1974–5; Sélavy, S, A, T, B, str qt, 1982; Wörter Bilder Dinge, A, str qt, 1989–91; leve (8 scenes), S, A, T, 3 actors, 1992; sky, seated man/seated woman, train, garden pool, 8 solo vv/8-pt chorus, 2 kbd, 1993; Ah! Vous voilà!, S, A, T, B, 1994, rev. 1996
Other: Kommunikationsspiele, conceptual work, 1973; Genossin Caecilia, conceptual work, 1976 [realized as Brigitte F., mixed media, 1978]; Procuste deux étoiles, orch, tape, 1980–81; Singende Schnecke, conceptual work, 1979; Altar, installation, 1986; Ohne Angang und Ends, installation, 1987; Landschaft mit 12 … Str Qt, installation, 1989; Happy Hour (musiktheater), 1996
KdG (T. Meyer)
W.Zobl: ‘Hans Wüthrich: das Glashaus’, ÖMz, xxxvi (1981), 53 only