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LISTENING EARTH - Score > Orkestermusik  |  UDSKRIV / Print
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RUDERS, POUL

BESKRIVELSE / Description
Poul Ruders
LISTENING EARTH
Score

Stemmer / Parts are for hire: hire@ewh.dk

Programnote
LISTENING EARTH is a symphonic drama, a one-movement composition in four parts, based on texts by Joseph Addison (1672-1719) and W.H. Auden (1907-1973). Addison is not particularly well known; he was English, a classical scholar, essayist, poet and politician; one of his hymns was used by Benjamin Britten in his setting of a Thomas Tallis canon.

The Addison-text quoted here is singularly beautiful and being a composer often inspired by extra-musical stimuli, such as poems, nature, paintings, etc., I was immediately convinced - when I came across the Addison-text - that here was exactly what I wanted to use as my major source of inspiration for the new piece. I have chosen the following three excerpts as mottos for the first three sections of the piece, thus turning the piece into a straightforward tone poem in the classical sense:

The spacious firmament on high,
With all the blue ethereal sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame,
Their great original proclaim.

The title of the piece presents itself in the following verse:

Soon as the evening shades prevail
The moon takes up the wondrous tale,
And nightly to the listening earth
Repeats the story of her birth;

The third part of the piece follows these dramatic lines:

Whilst all the stars that round her burn,
And all the planets in their turn,
Confirm the tidings, as they role,
And spread the truth from pole to pole.

Whilst composing the piece the horrible terrorist attack in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001 happened; personally "and as an artist" I could no longer end the piece on a happy and glorious note. So when, in the days following the terrorist attack, I came across W.H. Auden's poem SEPTEMBER 1, 1939, I found the appropiate text on which to base the fourth and final section of LISTENING EARTH - which now turns into an "Angry Earth". Auden wrote the poem on the eve of 1 September 1939, the day when Hitler and his hordes rolled into Poland, setting the world ablaze in World War II:

Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

From ANOTHER TIME by W.H. Auden, published by Random House. Copyright 1940 by W.H. Auden, renewed by The Estate of W.H. Auden; used by permission from Curtis Brown Ltd.

Poul Ruders


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