Lorelei - Langstreckensonate, 1978

Lorelei - Long Distance Sonata, 1978
Media installation, 59.6 x 27.5 x 10.8 cm

Part of the multiple and heterogeneous production of Dieter Roth, Lorelei (The Long Distance Sonata) features Roth himself practising the piano along with his children, Vera and Björn. The piece is made up of 38 cassette tapes that contain the musical recording of small exercises and piano improvisations, and which are exhibited alongside a radio/cassette player, ostensibly for listening to the tapes. The elusiveness of the total playing time (2,400 minutes) reinforces the vital condition of the piece over and above its identity as a work of art designed to be experienced in a gallery context. Lorelei was released in 1978 in a limited edition of 20 copies.

True to his idea of total art, Roth produced an extensive Dadaistic musical repertoire, with pieces that renounce all idea of melodic identity but instead are conceived as sound music projects. In addition to chaotic sounds, Roth also took on classical forms and genres such as the quartet and the sonata, reinventing them and showing his predilection for composers such as Schubert, Brahms and Schönberg. Lorelei (The Long Distance Sonata) is one of these works. The work of this artist, for whom music was an emotional and sensual adventure, pivots around a central concept of art-music-life being absolutely indivisible.

Technical details

Original title:
Lorelei - Langstreckensonate
Registration number:
Roth, Dieter
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
Media installation
Wood, paper, cassetes, audio reproducer and sound recording, 2400 min
59.6 x 27.5 x 10.8 cm (height x width x depth)
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
© Estate of Dieter Roth
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The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

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