The Merman (version for chamber orchestra)

(2008-2013)
Niels Rønsholdt
1.0.1(t-sax)1.0/0.0.1.0/ perc/pno/gui/1.0.1.1.0/live-elec
9+ instr
16:00
2013
B.0668
B4, 26 pages

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The Merman is a visual and musical story for chamber orchestra about a merman that crawls onto land in order to meet a mermaid, which turns out to be a sculpture.  Musically it is more playful and wide ranging than Rønsholdt’s other works. The idea is that this single, dramaturgical move from a to b is shown visually as still images with the Merman’s rise out of the sea and movement over land to the meeting with the Little Mermaid at Long Line. In this way the music can freely throw light on the drama from various points of view and with different tones in the five movements. Determination in Rønsholdt’s works often ends brusquely and this is no exception: The bittersweet mood of the work culminates in the final movement with a citation from the German poet Henrich Heine’s The North Sea : "Happy is the man who has reached harbour and has the storm behind him”. This is however not how it turned out for the merman for whom land meant death and a woman who turned out to be of bronze. The works national undertone with the beach, cliffs, forest, the song about Agnete and the Merman, the Little Mermaid, Long Line, the moist, cold and fragrance of the Danish Autumn, is actually a bizarre theme for the composer who, to a high degree, can be seen as a-national and with a critical relation to the phenomenon of the national state. Therefore the work is only a tentative declaration of love for Denmark.


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