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Das Verströmen der Seele – Eine Totenklage

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Rolf Rudin

Rolf Rudin

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This work translates to English as "The Fading of the Soul – a Lamentation, op. 48."

General Info

Year: 1997
Duration: c. 26:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: edition flor
Cost: Score and Parts - Contact Rolf Rudin


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Das Verströmen der Seele – Eine Totenklage, op. 48 (1997) ("The Fading of the Soul – a Lamentation, op.48") was commissioned by the State of Rheinland-Pfalz (Germany) in 1996 and composed and premiered in 1997 with the composer conducting the Symphonic Wind Ensemble of the Osterakademie in Bollendorf in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. The work can be regarded as the climax of a series of works for symphonic wind ensemble by German composer Rolf Rudin, that are all inspired by Celtic legends, religion, mythology numerology, symbolism, and in this case, even Celtic music.

One of the main sources of inspiration for Das Verströmen der Seele is the mostly pentatonic Celtic lamentation melody, Caoineadh. Structurally, this Celtic melody serves as the basis for a set of variations over the entire course of the work, with the theme itself only being presented in its original form towards the very end. It is exploited locally for its pitch content (used as a row, as core pitches for related melodic lines or as pointillistic pitches in accompaniments), as well as for its rhythm and its two part structure.

Rudin’s second direct source of inspiration is the following extract from the old Celtic lamentation, The Fading of the Soul, by the Gaelic bard Llywarch-hen, expressing grief about the recent loss of fellow tribe members in a battle:

Oh, how miserable is this night,
After the loss of the much-beloved.
They were killed, that is my misery.
Oh, how dark is this night.
Until the morning I will wake and cry.

The German translation of this poem is realized musically by solo tuba, euphonium, horn, and flugelhorn, while an omnipresent E-flat minor scale evokes a dark, mysterious atmosphere. Celtic symbolism, namely the numbers two (moon) and three (sun) and their combination (five) are reflected in numerous regards throughout Das Verströmen der Seele – structurally, formally, and rhythmically, sometimes even resulting in symmetrical and nonretrogradable structures. The overall character of the music is calm and meditative, yet highly emotional.

- Program Note courtesy of Dr. Martin Seggelke


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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  • Illinois State University (Normal) Wind Symphony (Martin H. Seggelke, conductor) – 2 October 2015 - *Midwest Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer