Osvaldo Golijov (1960)
for soprano, clarinet and string quartet
- General information
- Duration: 12 mn
- Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
- Commission: Spoleto USA Music Festival
Libretto (details, author):
Lettres de l'alphabet latin.
- Composition date: 2002
- Vocal music and instrument(s) [Solo voice and ensemble of up to 9 instruments]
- soprano, clarinet, violin, second violin, viola, cello
1 June 2002
États-Unis, Charleston, Dock Theater
Courtenay Budd : soprano, Todd Palmer : clarinette, le quatuor St. Lawrence.
Cette œuvre a été enregistrée par Teri Dunn (soprano) et les Talisker Players sur l'album "Where Words and Music Meet".
I wrote Tenebrae as a consequence of witnessing two contrasting realities in a short period of time in September 2000. I was in Israel at the start of the new wave of violence that is still continuing today, and a week later I took my son to the new planetarium in New York, where we could see the Earth as a beautiful blue dot in space. I wanted to write a piece that could be listened to from different perspectives. That is, if one chooses to listen to it "from afar", the music would probably offer a "beautiful" surface but, from a metaphorically closer distance, one could hear that, beneath that surface, the music is full of pain. I lifted some of the haunting melismas from Couperin's Troisieme Leçon de Tenebrae, using them as sources for loops, and wrote new interludes between them, always within a pulsating, vibrating, aerial texture. The compositional challenge was to write music that would sound as an orbiting spaceship that never touches ground. After finishing the composition, I realized that Tenebrae could be heard as the slow, quiet reading of an illuminated medieval manuscript in which the appearances of the voice singing the letters of the Hebrew Alphabet (from Yod to Nun, as in Couperin) signal the beginning of new chapters, leading to the ending section, built around a single, repeated word: Jerusalem.
Osvaldo Golijov, site internet du compositeur.