Abysm (2000)

Poul Ruders

12 musicians

Abysm derives its title from the literary quotation heading the first of the 3 movements of the work. Not uncommonly, writers put a motto, often a short quotation from a famous literary piece, on the page preceding their own work, as an “appetizer” of sorts, a spiritual and mental companion to what the reader is about to experience. Each of the 3 movements is inspired by a short literary quotation taken out of its original context, serving solely as spiritual inspiration for the music that follows. In other words, it is the beauty and profundity of the words and the many-layered associations they yield that are mirrored in the music.” (P. Ruders)

The 3 tone-poems, or rather tone-chapters, are:

  1. ABYSM
    “...What seest thou else | In the dark backward and abysm of time?” (W. Shakespeare, The Tempest)
  2. BURNING
    “...put your face on the burning sand and on the earth of the road, since all those who are wounded by love must have the imprint on their face, and the scar must be seen” (The Conference of the Birds by Farid Ud-din Altar)
  3. SPECTRE
    “...The Spectre Rose in Pain | A Shadow blue obscure & dismal.” (W. Blake, Vala or the Four Zoas)

[ii-07]

Performance