Abschied und Verklärung

for orchestra

First performance the Royal Northern College of Music Brand New Orchestra

Conducted by Edmon Levon



3(II=picc,III=afl).3(II=Ebcl,III=bcl).3(III=corA).3(III=dbn) - 4.3.2.btrbn.1 - timp.perc(3):BD/t.bells/glsp/washboard/tom-t/

susp.cym/vib/tamb/tpl.bl/tam-t -

Programme Note

The significance of the title is manifold. This piece acts as a farewell to the dark sound-world that has been my obsession for a while, and as the title suggests there is also a transfiguration, to something more delicate and transparent. It is also a rather oblique reference to Mahler/Strauss; only Der Abschied is quoted at the very end, but it is only intended to give connotations that are perhaps more existential in nature. The Dies Irae chant is also quoted, although perhaps not recognizable as it is very augmented, towards the end, almost like a cantus firmus in the violins.

The title also signifies a farewell to a period of my life, as I approach the end of my time at Lancing College, where I first became interested in music.

The piece starts with dark and almost violent music, which is then juxtaposed with passages of birdsong-like material in the woodwind and delicate chords in the strings with clear solo melodic lines above. The piece ends in the same way it begins with bell-like sonority, which then gives way to the quotation from Der Abschied - 'Ewig... ewig...'


© 2020 James Chan