Toshio Hosokawa (1955)

The Raven (2011)

monodrama for mezzo-soprano and ensemble

  • General information
    • Composition date: 2011
    • Duration: 40 mn
    • Publisher: Schott
    • Commission: the United Instruments of Lucilin (Luxembourg)
    • Libretto (details, author):

      Edgar Allan Poe

Detailed formation
  • soloist: solo mezzo-soprano
  • flute (also alto flute, piccolo, bass flute), clarinet (also bass clarinet), tenor saxophone (also alto saxophone), trumpet, trombone, percussionist, piano, violin, second violin, viola, cello, double bass

Premiere information

  • Date: 17 March 2012

    Belgique, Bruxelles, La Raffinerie, Ars Musica 2012


    Charlotte Hellekant : mezzo-soprano, United Instruments of Lucilin, direction : Toshio Hosokawa.

Program note

When I read The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe, it reminded me of the Japanese Noh play. A view of the world in the Noh is not anthropocentric. Some of the main characters in the Noh are animals and plants, and some are unearthly spirits. Poe describes the process of the collapse of the modern rational world, as a consequence of an invasion of the world by a weird animal ‘raven’ which lives in the other world. I considered this poem as a story of Noh and expressed it in the form of monodrama with mezzo-soprano and ensemble. 

Toshio Hosokawa.