Griffhand. An Introduction to Salut für Caudwell by Helmut Lachenmann
Helmut Lachenmann wrote Salut für Caudwell, a radical piece for two guitarists, in 1977 when the Red Army Fraction increased its activity during the bloody "German Autumn". Two instrumentalists spit out a passage from Illusion and Reality by the English Marxist philosopher, Christopher Caudwell, offering the composer the opportunity to insist on the social resolve of freedom and creation. The subject of this article is the musical and political gestus of Salut für Caudwell, its structural or melodic accents, its ostinato and the salient rhythm "extremely calm and rigorous" of its violent salvos, used as the ultimate and exceptional gestural means, the extraordinary creativity of the playing modes limited to the guitar and the dialogue between the guitars, the haptic dimension of the lachenmannian language and its manifest for an art aware of its circumstances.