Sir Harrison Birtwistle: 3 Settings of Celan (Arranger: Malcolm Bruno)

Sir Harrison Birtwistle 3 Settings of Celan
3 Settings of Celan

Sir Harrison Birtwistle: 3 Settings of Celan (Arranger: Malcolm Bruno)

Year of composition:
1989-1994
Scored for:
for soprano, 2 clarinets and viol consort
Composer:
Sir Harrison Birtwistle
Arranger:
Malcolm Bruno (1994)
Text author:
Paul Celan
Original language:
German
Translator:
Michael Hamburger
Soloists:
soprano
Instrumentation:
cl(2), descant viol, tenor viol, bass viol, contrabass viol, cb
Instrumentation details:
1st clarinet in Bb
2nd clarinet in Bb
descant viol
tenor viol
bass viol
contrabass viol
contrabass
Table of contents:
White and Light (5')
Night (4')
Tenebrae (6')
Duration:
15’
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Work introduction

Altogether Birtwistle set nine of Celan’s poems to music. Universal Edition publishes Night, White and Light and Tenebrae (each of which can be performed alone) as well as three of his nine short string quartets. (The other six songs and quartets are available from Boosey [&] Hawkes). When performed together, the nine songs and nine quartets alternating as part of a single work are called collectively Pulse Shadows. The three Celan settings are slow laments; Tenebrae, in which the poet addresses God directly, is the most animated.

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