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Poul Ruders

Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen

Wilhelm Hansen
Sub Category
Large Orchestra
25 Minutes

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Programme Note
Zenith makes the second installment of the so-called Solar Trilogy in which Gong (premiered January 7th 1993 in Copenhagen by The Danish National Radio Orchestra) is number one; the third and final part will be entitled Corona and is ”about” the ”crown” of the Sun: the ultra-hot halo encircling and radiating from the centre of the solar system itself: the Sun. Solaris. Helios.

Where as Gong describes the inner “life” of the Sun itself, Zenith takes us back to Earth; the music depicts two sorts of moving towards zenith (point of culmination): quite literally the orbit of the Sun across the sky, precisely as in Carl Nielsen’s Helios Ouverture, but here sustained over a time span of almost half an hour. But it is also a musical parable of sorts, about the archetypal, basic human striving towards climaxes, will power, vision, etc… Thereafter descent, decay, nothingness; ergo Birth-Life-Death-Oblivion, a musical/architectural arch inherent in several of my pieces (Monodrama, Polydrama, Tundra, Throne among others).

Zenith is an immensely slow music, of almost Oriental patience; predominatly hushed around a tonal “axis” of C sharp.

-Poul Ruders, London, February 1993.

Score preview

  • Ensemble
    Odense Symphony Orchestra
    Michael Schønwandt
  • 25 JUN 2016
    Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands
    The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
    Markus Stenz, conductor
  • 25 APR 2002

With Solar Trilogy Ruder creates a work that succeeds to bring a force of nature, in its various forms, to sound. Solar Trilogy is a monstrous approach, far from colourful kitsch.
Sophie Fischer, Terzwerk,01/01/0001
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