Laman, Wim

Wim Laman is a largely self-taught composer. While he was at university, his first compositions were performed by student orchestras. His work later came to the attention of the professional ...

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Fleurs du mal : 1980/81 / [texte] (Ch. Baudelaire), Wim Laman

Publisher: Amsterdam: Donemus, cop. 1981
Publisher's number: 05959
Genre: Vocal music
Subgenre: Voice and orchestra
Instruments: sopr-m/alt fl(fl-a) fl(pic) ob ob(eh) 2cl cl-b fg fg(cfg) 2sax 4h 2trp 2trb tb 3perc str( tape vl-solo
Remarks: Voor mezzosopraan (of alt) en orkest. - Tekst apart afgedrukt. - Tijdsduur: ca. 21'
Duration: 21'00"
Year of composition: 1981
Status: fully digitized (real-time delivery)

Other authors:
Baudelaire, Charles (librettist)
La destruction
La mort des amants
Les bijoux
Program note (English): Each poem should speak for itself. That I nevertheless have set three of Baudelaire's poems to music is due to their great expression. Inspired by their strong set form (that however only leads to empty, inexpressive constructions) I have tried emphasize the tension and the intensity of Baudelaire's poetry in all their gradations from violent emotions to conceding resignation. A solid form was chosen where the logic of the poetry and music could influence each other. It was important for the music to create a strong connection - but then without a predictable, and therefore, uninteresting course. Of course this fully required an intuitive control of the course of tension or, in short for the insiders, a clear alternation between the associative and dissociative strength proportions within music. (In traditional tonal music one recognizes the chords which emphasise the nature of the key (= associatively) and those chords which abandon the key (= dissociative); consequence is a
certain contrast functioning - one of the resources of making music "exciting"). Baudelaire, who remained during his entire life fascinated with the bizarre and the transient of all beauty, has, in all of his poems, given the melancholic an important role. Thereby he used an extremely suggestive, almost hallucinating manner of imagery, particularly when love, with her all encompassing nature formed the subject: La destruction sketches the demonic strength of love, which finally leads the 'most seductive of women' to a loneliness and a destructive strength. La mort des amants is full superb metaphors, painting the death of two lovers. They exchange a last glance, their souls are compared to mirroring pictures which slowly blur, while the flames extinguish. Les bijoux is a song of praise to female beauty in all its enchanting facets, the seductive, the dreamy seems to take on all kinds of fascinating forms by an ever so slight change in light, while the extinguishing lamp ("résignée à
mourir") magically brings out a deep-red shimmer. (This poem is only partially set to music and is combined with fragments from La destruction). - WIM LAMAN

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