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Hans Abrahamsen

Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen

Kharon (2009)
Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen
Solo Works (excluding keyboard)
Year Composed
7 Minutes
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Programme Note
Hans Abrahamsen Kharon (2009)
For solo trombone

I Dialogue with the Shades of the Dead
II Dialogue with the Waves of the River
III Hades

One very important aspect of the trombone is how it symbolizes the solemn transition from our world to the world beyond. In the course of musical history, we meet he trombone in the opera Orfeo (1607) by Monteverdi, in which the wonderful singer Orfeo looses his bride Euridice on their wedding day – but then he decides to go back to the underworld of the dead, Hades, to bring her back

Before coming over to Hades he has to cross the river Styx. This trip over the river is made on a ferry and the ferryman is Kharon.

In the opera by Monteverdi, Kharon (also sometimes spelled Charon) is accompanied by trombones! When the sound of the trombone comes to my imagination, I always recall this scenery from Monteverdi.
In the three short movements of Kharon, he has two initial dialogues, first with the shades of the dead and then with the waves of the river. In the last movement Charon arrives in Hades.

Kharon was written for and is dedicated to Jesper Juul.

-Hans Abrahamsen, June 2009

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