Top, Edward

The music of composer Edward Top is characterized by extreme contrasts. Rather than being an abstract and independent medium existing outside the human experience, music has the power to induce ...

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The overwhelming blankness of the ultimate meaninglessness of tragedy : for 2 ensembles, soprano and actor, 1995-1996 / words: Jorge Luis Borges, Octavio Paz, Amnesty International, Edward Top

Publisher: Amsterdam: Donemus, 1996
Publisher's number: 09054
Genre: Vocal music
Subgenre: Vocal Ensemble (2-12) and large ensemble
Instruments: sopr recit 1111 1110 perc vibr hp pf 2vl vla vc cb
Remarks: Acteur tevens spreekstem. - Bez. ensemble 1: hobo (tevens althobo), fagot, hoorn, harp, vibrafoon, viool, altviool en cello; bez. ensemble 2: fluit, klarinet (tevens es-klarinet), trompet, trombone, piano, slagwerker, viool en contrabas. - Spaanse en Engelse tekst. - In opdracht van Het Eerste Doel. - Cop. 1996. - Tijdsduur: ca. 20'
Duration: 20'00"
Number of players: 18
Status: fully digitized (real-time delivery)

Other authors:
Borges, Jorge Luis (librettist)
Paz, Octavio (librettist)
Program note (English): The point of departure of this work is a duality based on the 'Dea'h and Disaster' series of silscreen prints by Andy Warhol, especially his "Blue Electric Chair'. Each painting in this serie consists of two panels, one with a representation of a "disaster" (a car accident or an electric chair for example) in one tint against a background colour, while the other panel consists of only this background colour. The contrast of this blank panel next to a shocking depiction leads to controversy: the overwhelming blankness of the ultimate meaninglessness of tragedy. Translated into music this duality is formed by the two ensembles, which each have their own characteristic sound. One has the character of a subdued, resigned esthetics (very soft and slow, orderly material: for example, every note has its own instrumentation and register from F below central C to three octaves higher, the soprano often sings not more than two widely spaced intervals, the instrumentation consists of soft
instruments, such as vibraphone, harp, some strings and woodwinds). The other ensemble characterizes disaster (everything very harsh, loud and complex, chromatic, erratic playing techniques such as clusters, flutter tonguing, scratching sounds, a lot of percussion, loud brass and squeeling woodwinds, violin and double bass). Similarly, the text may also be divided into this duality. The texts by Jorge Luis Borges and Octavio Paz, sung by the soprano, describe a vision of dying, in which hopefully a hint of the world to come is revealed. This forms a violent contrast to the text of the actor, which is a very direct description of what happens to someone being executed on the electric chair. - EDWARD TOP

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Score Download (A3), 50 pages EUR 29.91
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Hardcopy, study size (A4), 50 pages EUR 40.50