• Aulis Sallinen
  • The Palace Rhapsody (1996)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

Commissioned by the Royal Northern College of Music

Based on music from "The Palace"

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  • 16 min

Programme Note

Sallinen has viewed this new work in the vein of the Harmonie arrangements of 18th century opera and based the piece on his very successful opera The Palace, deriving the composition, in rhapsodic form, from some of the main themes of the opera. The Palace was premiered in 1995 at the Savonlinna Festival in Finland and receives its premiere in the original English version at New York City Opera in 1998.
The opera is a satire with dark undertones on the subject of authoritarian power - the libretto draws on two different sources, borrowing characters from Mozart's opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail and ideas from Kapuscinski's novel The Emperor, which observes the fall of Haile Selassie, last Emperor of Ethiopia. While the score includes many of Sallinen's most infectious melodies, the undertones are ominous as the occupants of the Palace transfer power from one dictator to an equally totalitarian authority.

© Aulis Sallinen