Shadowland (1988-89)

Bent Sørensen

ensemble, in four movements

  • 1. Fluente e luminoso con molta transparenza
  • 2. Lontano… quasi un funerale
  • 3. Maniaco con delicatezza
  • 4. Sostenuto, molto calmo

The title Shadowland refers on the one hand to a blurred “landscape” of shadows, where small shadows are formed behind other shadows, and where the outlines are constantly disintegrating. On the other hand, the title refers to the fanciful and unreal landscapes I felt in the music while I was writing it. Shadowland has four movements, with proportions 4-7-4-3. These proportions can be found on various levels, from the smallest cell to the largest form. The first movement is divided into four parts which have exactly the same proportions as the whole piece, and behind the fast running melodies and trills that dominate the whole movement one can hear, in the second, third, and fourth parts, anticipations of the second, third and fourth movements respectively. The second movement begins at the edge of silence with almost imperceptible glissandi and indistinct chorales. Gradually the hushed landscape is drowned out by sudden expressive melodic outbursts and ends with violent dance rhythms. The third movement is built up of clouds of staccato tones and is a further development of the pointillistic ideas from clairobscure. In the last movement the horn plays a long soloistic melody line which the other instruments imitate and echo. These echoes swamp the horn line from time to time. (Bent Sørensen)

Shadowland was commissioned by and dedicated to The London Sinfonietta.