Commissioned by Radio France

  • cl/perc/vc.db
  • children's choir
  • soprano
  • 35 min

Programme Note

After the destruction: the awareness of debris and the anguish of memory. From a troubled interior, the search for peace and silence pervades this piece.

Drawing on fragments of Aeschylus' The Persians, the children's chorus sings the tragedy of a people that lost the war. But what war can be won? War necessarily leads to barbarity and destruction. Is there a way to avoid it? Children often discover adult violence through trauma and are increasingly submerged in that world of violence as a result of their TV consumption.

Knowing that our children will be tomorrow's adults, what kind of a world are we building by bringing them up in the cult of violence?

Intermingled with an ancient tragic memory, fragments from G. Trakl's last poems are sung by the soprano. Trakl's troubled existence and some of his experiences proved fatal to the still very young man, and deeply instilled his poetry. Called up in the sanitary services on the Eastern Front in August 1914, for a couple of days Trakl was entrusted with the care of a hundred serious casualties huddled in a barn without any additional medical assistance. Following these scenes of horror, he was said to have attempted suicide a few days later. He was then transferred to the psychiatric ward of a military hospital in Cracow. After being diagnosed with schizophrenia, Trakl put an end to his life by way of a cocaine overdose at the age of 27.

The poems which underlie the soprano's text were written during Trakl's last days and show a tragic dimension that is deeply rooted in man.

The music of this lament, like stillness after the storm, drifts toward a silent world, where poetry and love can still be expressed. This world is not somewhere else, it is not an escape from reality: it lies inside everyone of us where frenzy and transience give way to the essential. The question remains: how can one keep to the essential in a world ruled by superfluousness?

Klage is dedicated to my son Raffaello who eggs me on to always live through love.

© Gualtiero Dazzi