Anna Rubin

for soprano, flute, oboe, Bb clarinet, bassoon, horn in F, piano, violin, viola, violoncello, and contrabass

 

 

De Nacht was written while I was studying in Amsterdam with Ton de Leeuw in 1983. I composed it for a competion run by the Delta Ensemble and was awarded first prize. I assembled the text, which is an impressionistic collage drawn from several sources including Near Eastern mythology and Malcolm’s X’s own life. Words from several languages are used. I was very influenced by the mythological works of Joseph Campbell and his concept of the hero’s journey. The piece is in two broad sections. Melodic fragments are set against fast, pizzicato and staccato accompanimental figures in the first part. It builds to a dramatic climax and is followed by a serene closing section which is a setting of a Hawaaian creation song.

At a time when the earth was hot,
At a time when the heavens turned about,
At a time when the sun was darkened to cause the moon to shine,
The slime, the source of the earth, the source of the night, that made the night,
Intense darkness! The deep darkness, the darkness of the sun, darkness of the night, the night gives birth.

The piece premiered at The Icebreaker (Het Ijsbreker), Amsterdam, in 1983 was performed several times after by the ensemble.