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Work Information

Poul Ruders : De Profundis

Publisher Wilhelm Hansen
Works for 2-6 Players
Year Composed 1990
16 Minutes
Orchestration perc, 2pf
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Full Score(s) KP00035

Programme Note


The title ’De Profundis’ has been taken from Psalm 130, the song of ascents: ’De Profundis clamo ad te Domine’, latinized in the so-called Biblia Vulgata; and the standardized English translation reads: ’Out of the deep have I called unto thee, o Lord’. However, the music as such has nothing to do with the old-Testament lamentation of that particular psalm of David’s.
The piece ’De Profundis’ is about how to get from the bottom of things to the top, on various levels, and the Biblical labeling does - apart from being beautiful in itself - create a certain air of solemnity and expectation around the work.
The compositional idea of the piece is obvious enough: a climb from the lowest to the highest registres of all instruments, over a time-span of 18 minutes;
It is also about artistic and emotional aspiration: from nothingness to saturation, from grief to euphoria, and sonourously speaking: A journey from the reverberating deep towards the piercing top.
Tempowise ’De Profundis’ progresses from the extremely, provocatively slow towards ultimate velocity, so in more ways then one ’De Profundis’ is related to the archetypical behaviour of the 3 solo concertoes that constitute the ’Drama-Trilogy’ and could rightly be regarded as an epilogue to the metaphysical and compositional aim of that particular series.

Poul Ruders 1990


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