Escher, Rudolf

Rudolf Escher was a composer who wrote for the ear, rather than to conform to some extra-musical principle. He composed a relatively small oeuvre of orchestral pieces, chamber music and ...

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Musique pour l'esprit en deuil : for orchestra, (1943) / Rudolf Escher

Publisher: Amsterdam: Donemus, 1982
Publisher's number: 03650
Genre: Orchestra
Subgenre: Orchestra
Instruments: pic 2fl fl(pic) 3ob eh 4cl cl-b 3fg cfg sax-s(sax-a) 4h 4trp 3trb tb timp 6perc 2hp pf str(
Remarks: Cop. 1947. - Tijdsduur: ca. 19'
Duration: 19'00"
Year of composition: 1943
Status: fully digitized (real-time delivery)

Program note (English): [Première: 19-1-1947 - Concertgebouw, Amsterdam - Concertgebouworkest Eduard van Beinum, conducting] - (...) The composition consists of one movement and works according to the principle of a vast, yet traditional scheme, strongly breaking from the main form which includes: Introduction, Exposition (divided in two parts: A1 and A2), Development, Reprise (without A2) and Coda. Following the introduction three of the melodic givens appear simultaneously, specifically a melody in the descant (first violins, second violins, flute and oboe), a melody in the bass (violoncellos and double basses), and a third melisma as delayed 'sonnerie de chasse ' with a Lydian quality.
Soon thereafter the first trumpet sounds a fourth given, a lyrical melody, which has some common characteristics of the melismatic sound of Spanish flamenco. In this melody sixteen measures are repeated further, broadening, not in the development but in the exposition and reprise. This isolation creates a certain symbolic meaning in the total musical entreaty.
The abrupt entrance of the second, shorter exposition with fragments of A2 prevents the normal continuation of the melody resulting in a sudden economisation of atmosphere. Disorder and threat step in the place of expectation and lyricism. Fragments of the lyrical melismas come forward naturally, but must yield in the developing tumult to the fifth given, the two times sounding trumpet signal. It this indicator, characterized by the diminishing tritone interval, which stipulates the character of the development movement in several variations mainly with its imperative tone continuously rising and the singing tone of the melismas of A1 in pursuit. It becomes a power struggle. Lyricism must die.
Then the march hum enters, leading to the dynamic peak of the work. When this has subsided the melismas of A1 nevertheless arise as a reprise from the low registers. The 'flamenco melody', this time in the main tonal centre of E, is now able to sound uninterrupted to the end, whereupon a long Coda concludes the work (...).- RUDOLF ESCHER

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