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Blühen : for soprano, string sextet and piano

by Jack Symonds (2020)

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Work Overview

This song cycle is a portrait of the German fin-de-siècle poet Richard Dehmel. Lines and stanzas from five of Dehmel's poems are woven together to give glimpses of a world vision which trembles on the brink of Expressionism, seeped through with an mystical, weary Romanticism. I have attempted to create a continuity of image from the storms of desire (Ansturm) through the haunted, nocturnal 'blossoming' of death-soaked flowers (Maiblumen blühten überall), a gnomic vision of a lonely, inhuman place (Aufblick) leading to a chilling apparition (Erwartung) and finally, the ambiguous horror of true recognition (Die stille Stadt).

Work Details

Year: 2020

Instrumentation: Soprano, 2 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, piano.

Duration: 11 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — microtones, large vocal range, difficult string writing

Dedication note: Dedicated to Jessica Aszodi

Commission note: Commissioned by Adelaide Festival.. Commissioned by the Adelaide Festival of Arts and the Elder Conservatorium of Music, University of Adelaide as recipient of the John Bishop Memorial Commission 2020

First performance: by Jessica Aszodi, Jack Symonds at Adelaide Festival 2021 - Transfigured Night (UKARIA Cultural Centre) on 5 Mar 2021

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc in relation to this work:
German poetry, poetry, expressionism, string sextets, song cycles


Performances of this work

5 Mar 2021: at Adelaide Festival 2021 - Transfigured Night (UKARIA Cultural Centre). Featuring Jessica Aszodi, Jack Symonds.

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