Towards Patmos (after Hölderlin) : for mixed quintet
by Tom Henry (2018)
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Library shelf no. 785.2415/HEN 1 [Available for loan]
This work is a free meditation on the opening of the poem
'Patmos' by Friedrich Hölderlin:
'Near it is
And hard to grasp, the God.
But where there is danger
A rescuing force also grows.
The eagles dwell in darkness, and fearlessly
The children of the Alps cross the abyss
On insubstantial bridges.
Therefore, since the peaks of time are gathered high around us
And our dearest ones live near
(But growing dimmer on farthest separated mountains),
Give us pure water,
O give us wings to make the crossing and to return most faithfully.'
So, I spoke, when
Faster than I had ever imagined
I was carried to a place far away
Where I had never thought to go,
By a Genius from my own home.
The twilight was deepening as I went.
The shady forest,
The yearning streams of my homeland,
I no longer knew these regions.
But soon, in a fresh radiance,
In a golden haze,
Rising quickly as with steps of the sun
And fragrant with a thousand peaks
Asia burst into flower before me…'
Translation by Lorna Henry & Tom Henry ©2018
Instrumentation: Flute (doubling piccolo), Bb clarinet, violin, cello, piano. (Flute and violin also double Chinese finger cymbals briefly. Violin also plays a handful of notes inside the piano).
Duration: 24 min.
Commission note: Commissioned by Macedon Music.. Commissioned as part of the Glen Johnston Commissions Project
First performance: by Syzygy Ensemble — 7 Oct 18. Lowland Farm, Macedon, Vic
A podcast featuring a live performance of the work is at here
Performances of this work
7 Oct 18: Lowland Farm, Macedon, Vic. Featuring Syzygy Ensemble.
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