• Sofia Gubaidulina
  • The Light of the End (2003)

  • Schirmer Russian Music (USA, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America only)

Available in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America only

  • 4(afl,pic).1+ca+heck.2+bcl.2+cbn/4.3.1+btbn+cbtbn.1/5perc/hp/str (min 20.18.14.14.12 players)
  • 26 min
    • 27th May 2022, Severance Hall, Cleveland, OH, United States of America
    • 27th May 2022, Severance Hall, Cleveland OH, United States of America
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Programme Note

Composer note:

The name of the composition derives from the bright sound of the antique cymbals that bring the coda of this piece to a close. But despite such an optimistic title, the overall sense of the composition is dramatic. The drama is caused by the conflict between the intrinsic character of instruments – brass instruments in particular – to produce the sounds of the natural overtone row and the necessity of adapting them to the sounds of 12-tone tempered tuning.

For some time I have experience this conflict as my own drama: the incompatibility, in principle, of these intrinsic qualities with real-life circumstances in which nature neutralized. Sooner or later, this pain had to be manifested in some composition.

The conflict in this piece arises between a theme consisting exclusively of sounds from the natural overtone row theme that uses the 12-tone tempered scale.

The duet of French horn and cello before the central expressive tutti sounds especially antagonistic: the horn and cello play one and the same melody in different tunings, the natural and tempered. Great dissonance.

The piece concludes with the removal of this dissonance – as if by tonic – in which the contrasts are resolved. The chromatic glissandi of the strings remove the fundamental conflict; these sounds are contained both in the natural overtone scale and in the tempered system.


--Sofia Gubaidulina



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