Monday, October 31, 2005

Une Lueur dans l'age sombre (“A Glimmer in the Age of Darkness”)

"For four hundred thousand years after the Big Bang, the universe is nothing more than frozen darkness; one calls this period "the Age of Darkness." Within this cosmic void, the cold gases slowly gather in formless masses which, in collapsing upon themselves, proceed to illuminate the first stars. It is the start of a renaissance, and the universe will begin to shine with a thousand galactic fires."... Composer Guillaume Connesson (Translated by Carl Cunningham)

Une Lueur dans l'age sombre (“A Glimmer in the Age of Darkness”), completed last July [and to be performed by the National Symphony Orchestra this Thursday to Saturday], was commissioned by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in celebration of its first season under its new music director, Stéphane Denève, who conducted the premiere in Dundee on September 28 and repeated the performance in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow over the following three days. Mr. Denève presided over the U.S. premiere less than a week ago, in the Houston Symphony Orchestra's concerts of October 28-30.

The score, dedicated to Stéphane Denève, calls for 2 piccolos, 2 flutes, 3 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, crotales (played with a double bass bow), marimbaphone, xylophone, vibraphone, glockenspiel tubular bells, 3 suspended cymbals, crash cymbals, triangle, 2 tam tams, 2 large gongs, bass drum, piano, celesta, harp and strings. Duration, 20 minutes.

(c) Musicologist Richard Freed via


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