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Heaven is closed : for orchestra

by Elena Kats-Chernin (2000)

Audio Sample

Performance by Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, David Porcelijn from the CD Selected works. Vol. 2

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Elena Kats-Chernin collection.


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The Elena Kats-Chernin collection.

Library shelf no. CD 2898 [Not for loan]

Heaven is closed


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Heaven is closed / Elena Kats-Chernin.

Library shelf no. Q 784.2/KAT 4 [Available for loan]

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Work Overview

I started Heaven is Closed in Sydney on the New Year's Eve (2000), according to my superstition or ritual, if that is a better word to always start a new piece on that night, even if it is only a couple of bars. I like the idea that everyone goes crazy partying while I do my own thing, so to speak. This is a left-over peculiarity from my days in Moscow when I lived in a student hostel, with other students from Gnesin College-I was 14 years old. I remember how the sounds were coming out of all the rooms (each had a piano in it) different instruments' sounds or singing, and I had to get on with my home work for Harmony or Aural or Musicology, so I learned to disregard the noise around me. And with time I cultivated this into the ritual of working on the New Year's Eve.

It was started in Sydney and finished in Hanover while I was there rehearsing and witnessing the premiere of "Sarglos" a chamber work of mine. I like working on pieces while "on the road", especially parallel to some other activity, like working on a theatre play while revising another piece, etc. It seems to free the mind for very different kinds of ideas and this piece ended up soaking up some of the whirlwind energy of that time.

Elena Kats-Chernin

Work Details

Year: 2000

Instrumentation: 2 flutes (1st doubling piccolo), oboe, cor anglais, clarinet in B flat, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, percussion (2 players), harp, strings.

Duration: 12 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Dedication note: Dedicated to David Porcelijn

Commission note: Commissioned by Symphony Australia for performance by Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra with funds provided by Australia Council.

First performance: by Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, David Porcelijn — 13 Mar 00. Adelaide Festival Theatre

Revised in 2010


Resonate article: Kats-Chernin's Santa Cruz diary on NewMusicBox by Australian Music Centre

Performances of this work

28 Feb 2018: at SSO: Heaven is Closed / Kats-Chernin (Sydney Opera House, Concert Hall). Featuring Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Dmitri Slobodeniouk.

14 Aug 2015: at Ulster Orchestra & BBC Radio 3 (Ulster Hall (Belfast, UK)). Featuring Ulster Orchestra, David Porcelijn.

28 Apr 2012: at Queensland Symphony Orchestra with Benjamin Northey (The Queensland Symphony Orchestra Studios). Featuring Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Benjamin Northey.

13 Mar 00: Adelaide Festival Theatre. Featuring Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, David Porcelijn.

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