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No. 42

(In the Alps - an animated concert)
for soprano and ensemble
soprano and ensemble
Edition: Performance material

Product Details


No.42 (In the Alps) could perhaps best be described as a melodrama. It combines many of the subjects that fascinate me: the relationship of text narrative and musical narrative, the history of opera, early cinema, the theatrical practices of the nineteenth century, along with the folk and popular music of the Alpine region.

A girl (the soprano), stranded on top of an un-climbable mountain peak as a young baby, is taught to sing by the mountain animals. Young Bobli lives in the village far below the un-climbable peak. He was born mute and communicates with the world by playing the trumpet. Bobli hears the soprano's song drifting down into the valley. The soprano listens to Bobli's trumpet tunes blown up to her by the wind. They are both enchanted.

The three acts are separated by interludes describing how three animals experience time passing in relation to a musical tempo.

Like any self respecting melodrama the text and music combine to depict or imply a wide ranging theatrical adventure, in this piece starting at the Creation (or the big bang), a lonely existence, scenes of rustic village life, some carpentry, many mountain goats, unrequited love, and ending in a quest destined to fail.  In a live performance the text [provided with the performance material] is to be projected on a screen behind the musicians in the style of silent movie intertitles.

Richard Ayres

Orchestral Cast

2pic(1.fl, bassfl).0.1.1(Ebcl).1.cbsn-2.0.Ctpt(2.pictpt).0.btbn.1-2perc(timp, b.d, small drum kit, 4 small hand-held cowbells, tri, metal wind chimes, wind machine, large wooden hammer on large wooden box, saw or wood-file on thin wooden box, vib, xyl, glsp, crots, tub bells, almgl)-3vn.db

More Information

No. 42
(In the Alps - an animated concert)
for soprano and ensemble
Text by the composer
Performance material
Schott Music
Year of composition:
45 ′
World Premiere:
April 4, 2008 · Zwolle (NL)
Theater De Spiegel
Barbara Hannigan, soprano; Mathis Nitschke, video · Nederlands Blazers Ensemble

Commissioned work :
Commissioned by the Netherlands Blazers Ensemble with financial help from the Dutch Fund for the Creation of New Music.

Technical Details

Product number:
LSL 10143-01

Preview/Media Contents



Set Ascending Direction
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    Orchestra: Ostravská banda
    June 29, 2016 | Ostrava (Czech Republic) , Antonín Dvořák Theatre — National Premiere
  • Set Ascending Direction


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