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The Cosmic picture book : five orchestral impressions after Paul Klee

by Mark Grandison (2016, this version: 2017)

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Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 72.


This item is not commercially available from the Australian Music Centre. We regret that we cannot offer it for sale.


Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 72.

Library shelf no. CD 2792 [Available for loan]

Display all products featuring this work (2 more)  

Work Overview

The inspiration for each of these movements is a painting by the extraordinarily inventive mid-20th Century painter, Paul Klee. My musical impressions were sparked in equal measure by his unique technical facility, his sensual use of line and colour, and the resonant symbolism employed - the latter sometimes juxtaposing a childlike simplicity with profoundly mystical qualities.


The collective title of Cosmic Picture Book comes from a 1923 article by Leopold Zahn, in which the term is employed to encapsulate Klee's mysticism and 'serene visions of new worlds'.

These five paintings survey a broad spectrum of Klee's life experiences, ranging from the transcendently beautiful to the darkest manifestations of personal horrors. As Klee himself said of this comprehensive and unyielding exploration of the human condition: 'To emphasize only the beautiful seems to me to be like a mathematical system that only concerns itself with positive numbers.'


Work Details

Year: 2016, this version: 2017

Instrumentation: Piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets (2nd doubling 3 flat clarinet), bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets in C, 2 trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion (5 players), piano, harp, strings.

Duration: 21 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Contents note: 1. Twittering Machine -- 2. Full Moon -- 3. Dance of the Moth -- 4. Insula Dulcamara -- 5. Outburst of Fear.

Revised in 2017 with the additional of a 6th Impression 'Ad Parnassum'. Revised in December 2017 with removal of the 6th Impression.


Performances of this work

29 Jun 19: Symphonic Wind Orchestra Vooruit, Harelbeke, Belgium

24 Sep 16.

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