Toshio Hosokawa (1955)

Sternlose Nacht - Requiem für Jahreszeiten (2010)

for soprano, mezzo-soprano, narrator, mixed choir and orchestra

  • General information
    • Composition date: 2010
      Revision dates: 2012
    • Duration: 50 mn
    • Publisher: Schott
    • Commission: Mahler Chamber Orchestra avec le soutien d’Ernst von Siemens Foundation for Music
    • Libretto (details, author):

      texte (en japonais et en allemand) : Georg Trakl, Gershom Sholem, Masao Masunishi (en allemand), Lothar Metzger, Angela Gill (en japonais et en allemand) 

Detailed formation
  • soloists: solo soprano, solo mezzo-soprano, narrator
  • mixed choir
  • 2 flutes (also 1 piccolo, 1 alto flute), 2 oboes (also 1 English horn), 2 clarinets (also 1 bass clarinet), 2 bassoons (also 1 contrabassoon), 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, tuba, 3 percussionists, harp, celesta (also piano), strings

Premiere information

  • Date: 2 October 2010

    Allemagne, Baden-Baden


    Sally Mathews, Mihoko Fujimura, WDR Rundfunkchor, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, direction : Kent Nagano.

Program note

Sternlose Nacht consists of nine movements combining two contrasting elements: a cycle of the seasons with poetry by Georg Trakl (in the movements I, IV, V and IX) and a reflection on the two major tragedies of the Second World War: the bombing of Dresden and Hiroshima in the winter and summer of 1945. In the third movement ’Grabstein in Dresden’, two narrators provide an account of the events of February 1945 accompanied by choir and orchestra. In the seventh movement ’Grabstein in Hiroshima’, a mezzo soprano sings the report of a young boy who survived the atomic bomb attack in the summer of 1945. The text of the eighth movement, the emotional poem ’Gruß vom Angelus’ by Gershom Scholem, is a pessimistic summary of these reports of man’s inhumanity to man and is sung by a soprano accompanied by two trumpets and percussion.