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Poul Ruders

Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen

Schrödinger's Cat (2012)
Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen
Works for 2-6 Players
Year Composed
13 Minutes

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Programme Note
Poul Ruders Schrödinger's Cat (2012)
12 canons for violin and guitar

In 1935 the Austrian physicist Erwin Schröder introduced a thought experiment meant to illustrate what he saw as the problem with the so-called Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. The experiment presents a cat that might be alive or dead, depending on an earlier random event. The experiment – or paradox – became famous in scientific circles as “Schrödinger´s cat”.

The present musical composition, however, has nothing to do with Schrödinger´s paradox, but I´ve always wanted to write a piece and call it “Schhrödinger´s Cat”, so, well…there we are!

The 12 Canons are nothing but that, 12 pieces for two instruments playing the same – or almost the same – with the two melodic lines slightly displaced in relation to the other. Some of the canons are strict and unrelenting in that respect, such as nos. IV and XII. Others are less ridigly conceived. I chose the ancient art of the canon as the best vehicle for a composition aiming toward an amalgamation of two string instruments, one bowed – the other plucked, through thematic and linear near-identity.

The canons are autonomous pieces of music about nothing but themselves. They´re marked either: Fast – Moderate, or Slow.

- Poul Ruders, August 2012

  • 02 APR 2013
    Schrödinger's Cat World Premiere
    Curtis Institute, Philadelphia, USA
    David Starobin, guitar; Nadir Khashimov, violin

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