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Arne Nordheim

Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen

Magic Island (1992)
Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen
Soloists and Orchestra
Year Composed
13 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
Mezzo soprano, Baritone
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Programme Note
Arne Nordheim Magic Island (1992)
Be Not Afeard was composed for a gala in Stockholm's Royal Academy of Music in 1977. This was the beginning of my ballet "The Tempest". The work has now been revised and given the title " Magic Island" and was premiered during the Bergen Festival 1992.

The text was Caliban's words to the intruders: "Be not afear'd. The isle is full of noises, sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not." The description of the wonders of music, inspired me and made me feel at home. Together with the chamber group runs a world of sounds, mainly created by electronically adapted voices. Towards the end it is easy to discern sounds reminiscent of chorales. In addition, Caliban's own exclamation is made raw material for some of the most drastic sonorities of the work. This implies that his well-meaning advice may sound like a threat. Also, the wide range of metallic sounds in the instruments often comes out even with my electronic problems. I believe I may here have created a uniform sound in which acoustic and electronic textures combine in the direction of new perception.

Score preview

  • Ensemble
    BIT 20 Ensemble
    Siri Torjesen (soprano), Njål Sparbo (baritone)
    Ingar Bergby
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