Island, The


voice and chamber ensemble of 7 players
Solo Instrument(s) with Ensemble, Soprano
Rainer Maria Rilke transl. Stephen Cohn
afl - hn - pno - harp - vln.vla.vlc

Written for the Nash Ensemble

First Performance
12.3.08, Wigmore Hall, London: Claire Booth/The Nash Ensemble/Paul Watkins

Score and parts for hire

Programme Notes
The Island for soprano and 7 instruments There is no special resonance in revisiting words written exactly a century ago, but Rilke's ability to transform the ordinary into something transcendent has not lost anything of its power in the intervening years since the Neue Gedichte - 'New Poems' - were written, in 1907 and 1908. Their title, plain though it is, reflects the change of direction that Rilke felt he was taking, towards a new subtlety and intimacy. I have set these three linked poems as a short unbroken cycle, the introspection of the first two opening into new directions in the third. 'The Island' was composed in 2007 as a gift for Claire Booth and the Nash Ensemble. I am grateful to Carcanet Press for permission to use Stephen Cohn's exceptional translation. Colin Matthews

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