Osvaldo Golijov (1960)

Night of the Flying Horses (2002)

for soprano and orchestra

  • General information
    • Composition date: 2002
    • Duration: 8 mn
    • Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
    • Libretto (details, author):

      Texes de Sally Potter.

Detailed formation
  • soloist: soprano
  • 2 flutes (also piccolo, alto flute), oboe, English horn, clarinet, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, celesta, strings

Premiere information

  • Date: March 2002

    États-Unis, Minneapolis


    Dawn Upshaw : soprano, Minnesota Orchestra, direction : Alan Gilbert.


Œuvre également disponible en version instrumentale uniquement.

Program note

Night of the Flying Horses starts with an Yiddish lullaby that I composed for Sally Potter's film The Man Who Cried, set to function well in counterpoint to another important music theme in the soundtrack: Bizet's Aria Je Crois Entendre Encore, from The Pearl Fishers. In her film Sally explores the fate of Jews and Gypsies in the tragic mid-years of the 20th century, through a love story between a Jewish young woman and a Gypsy young man. The lullaby metamorphoses into a dense and dark doina (a slow, gypsy, rubato genre) featuring the lowest string of the violas. The piece ends in a fast gallop boasting a theme that I stole from my friends of the wild gypsy band Taraf de Haïdouks. The theme is presented here in a canonical chase between two orchestral groups.

Osvaldo Golijov, site internet du compositeur.