Tale of Lead and Frozen Light

2014; dur: 15′; String orchestra; 
Score at Wise Music Classical

Based on the string quartet [intlink id=”6968″ type=”post”]Tale of Lead and Light[/intlink] (2011)

Minimum number of players: 3 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 1

The original string quartet was written in the aftermath of the events in Oslo and Utøya July 2011. A source of musical inspiration is Beethoven’s “Quartet Op. 59 number 1”. My music is full of elements from Beethoven’s work. The ambiguity in the title reflects both hope and dread. Beethoven’s light shines through, strong and full of life! Commissioned by and written for Det Norske Kammerorkester.

Recorded by Trondheim Soloist on the album: Ratkje: Works for String Orchestra.

Link to album reviews

“It was like being hit right between the eyes. What is the meaning of art? I’m sitting here writing music. Have a deadline in a month. Everything came to a halt, and I ended up by taking some chords and “freezing” them so the music proceeded very slowly. It felt as though that was the only way to press forward, because I was in mourning. At the same time, I forced myself to enter into the light that I had already created out of the Beethoven material, places where they play with huge leaps, ethereally and lightly, which for me is the fog that is lifting. It lies like a lead-coloured sky on all the pictures of that day. Lead and light. So I used Beethoven to help me go on. I had never imagined that music could be like this. If 22 July had not happened, this piece would have been completely different.” Maja S. K. Ratkje from the album booklet text.

A Norwegian concert review (Kammerorkesteret):

(…)I programmet skriver Ratkje selv om hvordan Beethoven ble et lys over arbeidet sommeren 2011, før og etter 22. juli, da Tale of Lead and Frozen Light ble til. I dag hører man først og fremst at Ratkje kom fram til et frodig og spennende stykke, overraskende organisk, nær romantisk, til å være av en som også er kjent som eksperimentell sanger og støykunstner. Etter urfremføringen er det fristende å si at også 22. juli kanskje høres her, og i alle fall inspirasjonen fra eldre kunstnere, fra Beethoven og framover. Verket er vakkert, rett og slett. Astrid Kvalbein, Aftenposten 2014

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