Astralis is a slow meditation on the idea expressed in Novalis’ eponymous poem. The poet (1772-1801) foresaw “a strange, wondrous, shimmering future,” although his vision was a tragic one: “The body dissolved in tears.” Considering this anticipation of a bleak future, Rihm imagined hymnal music to which the cello adds its voice, alternately singing and weeping. The two timpani remain in the background, their sound scarcely perceptible, mysterious, like faraway thunder.
The Swiss première of Rihm's Astralis (Über die Linie III), will take place on August 16 at Davos Festival.
View the full score:
Astralis ("Über die Linie" III)