• Karl Aage Rasmussen
  • Sinking Through the Dream Mirror (1993)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)
  • Violin
  • 34 min

Programme Note

Music cannot be explained. Nevertheless composers are again and again asked for explanations, for instance in programme notes. And many of them are actually pretty good at explaining. On the other hand it is difficult to imagine that Mozart would have much to say in a programme note.

I, myself, have normally written programme notes without much trouble. But my violin concerto is an exception to this. I cannot say much more about it than what is audible to every-body. Well, I can say that it was commissioned by the Aarhus Sinfonietta in 1991. And that it was composed before my opera Titanic, with whose 'sinking' music it is in many ways related. And perhaps I should add that it is not a violin concerto in the normal sense of the word. When a soloist performs in front of an orchestra the situation is quite different from the one you have when a single musician in an ensemble is given a more prominent position. Therefore the 'soloist' in this work is first and foremost part of the entirety, sometimes totally swallowed up by it, sometimes openly in front of it.

But what about the long subtitle, then? Sinking through the Dream Mirror. It may sound like affectation if I say that I cannot really explain this either. Because 'the dream mirror' is something I have dreamt - a mirror in a mirror - a reflected image of something that does not exist.Technically it is about a melody which - identical with itself in infinitely many tempi - again and again is sinking, first in a vertical dive, and then slower and slower until it is dissolved in the 'mirror'. This takes place in different ways in the various movements, in the last one 'below the mirror', as a special lightness just before the dissolution. But this does not explain anything ....

There are four movements, but the crossing between the first two happens imperceptibly.


- Karl Aage Rasmussen


I. Prelude
II. Scherzo
III. Passacaglia
IV. Rondo