…in the sleeve of snow…

Astonishingly intense and often fragmentary, the poetry of Friedrich Hölderlin has inspired countless composers including Ligeti, Britten, Kurtág and Nono. With his ...in der Hülse von Schnee..., a Hölderlin cycle for mixed choir, Torsten Rasch has invented a language of winding chromaticisms and saturated harmonies that mirrors and intensifies the complexity of these extraordinary texts. A huge variety of vocal expression is contained within the work’s eight movements, from lyrical arioso and unsettling half-sprechgesang outbursts to exhilarating agitato passages where complex chords are thrown violently about the ensemble with abandon. The ghost of tonality is a constant presence throughout and the eventual emergence of a blazing major chord at the climax of the last movement is both striking and audacious. 
The fifteen-minute long work will be premiered on 16 October at the Kammermusiksaal of the Berlin Philharmonie by the RIAS Chamber Choir under Hans-Christoph Rademann.