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Arne Nordheim

Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen

Wirklicher Wald (1983)
Wilhelm Hansen
Chorus and Orchestra/Ensemble
Year Composed
28 Minutes
German, Hebrew
Soprano, Cello

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Programme Note
Arne Nordheim Wirklicher Wald (1983)
A composition often conceives itself in one’s own memory. There is a long enigmatic distance between the birth ideas and their musical execution. This is particularly true about “Wirklicher Wald”, which has come a long way from its distant origins. In the early 50’s the Swedish Radio featured a musical and literary programme, “Night Exercise”, which proved an important source of inspiration, introducing the great poets of our time. A programme on Rainer Maria Rilke presented his poem “Todeserfarung” from 1908. I immediately saw a sequence of pictures calling for music. I can still hear this calling; still see the pictures, which, throughout the years have resulted in various musical transformations of these rich impulses from Rilke. Three years ago, my musical rendering of Rilke was again on its way: a large scale international collaboration with the distinguished Czech choreographer Jiri Kylian was to include “Todeserfarung”.

The project was dropped, and a large material of music remained silent. “Wirklicher Wald” employs this material in a largely adapted form. Together with Rilke’s poem I also include fragments from the Book of Job (14) in Hebrew in the ecstatic exclamations of the soprano soloist against the background of the German chorale. The cello solo is intended as a continuation and reflection of the dramatic and lyrical parts of the soprano and chorus.

Arne Nordheim

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