soprano and three clarinets
Trakl G (Author)
Mixed Chamber Ensemble, Soprano, Woodwind Ensemble
Georg Trakl
Written for Matrix
First Performance
27.2.75, Camden Festival, The Place, London: Jane Manning/Matrix

Playing score on special sale from hire library and study score 0-571-50541-4 on sale

Programme Notes

This small but explosive piece was written at the request of Alan Hacker for his ensemble Matrix, who gave the first performance (with Jane Manning, soprano) shortly after it was completed in February 1975. The first sketches were made in Boston in spring 1974, as a welcome distraction from intensive work on my Third Symphony, and it is a development outside that work of the clarinet fanfares which permeate it. The brutally juxtaposed images of Trakl’s poem are mirrored in the form of the setting, which is designed as a highly compressed sonata movement.

© Oliver Knussen

Under trimmed willows, where tanned children are playing And leaves are blowing, trumpets sound. A churchyard shudder. Scarlet banners crash through the maple’s sorrow, Riders along fields of rye, empty mills. Or shepherds sing by night and stags tread In the circle of their fire, the grove’s age-old sorrow, Dancers spring up from a black wall; Banners of scarlet, laughter, madness, trumpets.

© Georg Trakl English translation by Oliver Knussen

Unter verschnittened Weiden, wo braune Kinder spielen Und Blätter treiben, tönen Trompeten. Ein Kirchhofsschauer. Fahnen von Scharlach stürzen durch des Ahorns Trauer, Reiter entlang an Roggenfeldern, leeren Mühlen. Oder Hirten singen nachts und Hirsche treten In den Kreis ihrer Feuer, des Hains uralte Trauer, Tanzende heben sich von einter schwarzen Mauer; Fahnen von Scharlach, Lachen, Wahnsinn, Trompeten.

©Georg Trakl Reprinted by kind permission of Otto Müller Verlag, Saltzburg

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