Two Interludes for an Opera

Jonathan Harvey (1939)

Two Interludes for an Opera 2003

1(=picc.).1.2(I=A+Bb, II=A,Bb,bcl).1(=cbsn) - 1111 - perc(2) - hp - electric keyboard - 22221
Duration 
20
Publisher 

TWO INTERLUDES FOR AN OPERA These Interludes appear in my opera Wagner Dream, and were the first sections of the opera to be composed. The opera is based on the moment of Wagner's death. It is a moment that contains thoughts about the Buddha, and Wagner's opera project on the beautiful legend of Prakriti - the humble peasant girl - and Ananda - Buddha Shakyamuni's cousin and disciple. Wagner's last words as he was writing an essay, when interrupted by his fatal heart attack, were ruminating on this legend. The first interlude is the heart attack and the journey Wagner's mind takes immediately after, through the Clear Light, through the 'thousand thunders'. In buddhism, the state of mind at death is crucial for determining the nature of future existence. The second interlude is placed at the moment in the story where Prakriti's attraction to Ananda begins to show itself openly, Ananda responding despite himself. A wide range of live electronics is used, as well as some recorded sound. Each instrument can be and at times is treated with electronics, individually, polyphonically or in groups. The electronics were realised with the invaluable programming and help of Carl Faia. Funding for research into electronic treatments was generously provided by the Gulbenkian Foundation and Arts Council, England. The work was commissioned by the London Sinfonietta.

Jonathan Harvey

Performances 
17.03.04 Queen Elizabeth Hall, London: London Sinfonietta/Martyn Brabbins
21.03.04 Ars Musica Festival, Brussels: London Sinfonietta/Martyn Brabbins
5.3.05 MaerzMusik Festival, Berlin: London Sinfonietta/Martyn Brabbins
25.3.06 Pompidou Centre, Paris: Ensemble Intercontemporain/Susanna Mälkki
12.4.08 City Halls, Glasgow: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Ilan Volkov/IRCAM
22.11.08 Festival Manca, Nice, France: performers unknown
6.6.09 Casa da Música, Porto, Portugal: Ensemble Remix/Emilio Pomarico
1
Flute
doubling piccolo
1
Oboe
2
Clarinet
1st clarinet in A & Bb, 2nd clarinet in A, Bb doubling bass clarinet
1
Bassoon
doubling contrabassoon
1
Horn
1
Trumpet
1
Trombone
1
Tuba
2
Percussion
marimba, crotales, guiero, 2 bass drum, 2 gongs, maracas, rainstick, tam-tam, 2 tibetan bells (slung), tubular bells, spring coil, vibraslap, glass chimes (small), bamboo cluster (medium to high), mark tree, 2 suspended cymbals, snare drum, 4 woodblock, 4 tom-toms, 3 bowls, 2 light high drums of skin or thin wood for fingers
2
Violin
2
Violin II
2
Viola
2
Cello
1
Double bass
1
Harp
1
Piano
electric keyboard
3
Electronics
Electronics (3 or 2): 8 or 6 channel system/digital mixer/1 or 2 Mac computers with soundcards/Wacom Graphic Tablet/16 MIDI faders/Clip-on mics for all instruments and several close mics for percussion/CD Rom of patches and cue list in MAX/Msp
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