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Poul Ruders

Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen

Monodrama (1988)
Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen
Soloists and Orchestra
Year Composed
32 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
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Programme Note
Poul Ruders Monodrama (1988)
Monodrama, dedicated to percussion virtuoso Gert Sørensen and commissioned by The Danish Radio, was written in New York in the early winter 1988 and makes the centre as well as the middle of the tri-part opus called The Drama Trilogy. All three works employ the word Drama in their title, Drama in the original meaning of the word: event. No specified event, but a premonition or omen rather, that something is afoot, a free Drama-offer from which anyone may populate the stage of his private, inner theatre.

The first piece of the series Dramaphonia for piano and chamber ensemble was premiered in London in the spring of 1988 by Lontano and Poul Rosenbaum. This piece is emotionally and rhythmically unstable as opposed to Monodrama (single-event) which is modelled from the archetypal idea of obtaining accomplishment from nothingness. The 31 instruments of the orchestra (no flutes and no violins or violas) are more or less wrapped around the solo-part to become one with that and thus emerge as one, gigantic percussion instrument. The rhythmical patterns of the orchestral part more or less follow those of the percussionpart, a single-event also on the rhythmical level.

After 20 minutes climbing toward the peak of rage, the composition casts its slough and is reborn into a chorale-like march and the struggle between totally depopulated sound-scapes and ferociously roaring sub-oceanic storms begin and the piece paces toward the abyss; rage becomes despondency, New Rage as opposed to New Age, the spineless worshipper of beauty without pain.

The third instalment of the Drama Trilogy, the cello concerto Polydrama will be premiered in Stockholm May 1990.

Monodrama lasts aprox. 32 minutes.

- Poul Ruders

  • Ensemble
    Aarhus Symphony Orchestra
    Mathias Reumert (perc)
    Thomas Søndergaard
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